Dollar remittances from overseas Filipinos surged in January
Dollar remittances from expatriate Filipinos rose sharply in the first month of the year thanks to an increase in funds sent home by both short- and long-term workers based on land and at sea, the central bank said on Thursday.
In a press statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Nestor Espenilla Jr. said hard currency sent home by these workers reached $2.7 billion in January, representing a 10.8-percent hike over the same period last year.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more aggregated $2.1 billion, higher by 8.4 percent than the level recorded in January 2017. Meanwhile, those from sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 15.3 percent to $500 million.
Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose to $2.4 billion in January, representing a 9.7 percent year-on-year growth.
Remittances from both land-based ($1.9 billion) and sea-based ($500 million) workers increased by 8.4 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively.
By country source, the bulk of cash remittances came from the US, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Canada, Kuwait and Germany. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for more than 80 percent of total cash remittances.
The US, Canada, Singapore, and UAE were the major contributors to the growth in cash remittances for the month. Remittances from the US grew by 14.3 percent, contributing 4.6 percentage points to the 9.7 percent overall growth.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from Canada, Singapore and UAE contributed a combined 4.6 percentage points to total growth in cash remittances.
The central bank defines personal remittances as the sum of net compensation of employees with work contracts of less than one year, including all sea-based workers, less taxes, social contributions, and transportation and travel expenditures in their host countries, personal transfers, and capital transfers between households.
The data is imperfect, however, since a common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the US which, thus, shows up to be the main sources of remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. /je
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