Philippines: Personal remittances up in February

MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos in February increased by 3.3 percent to $2.397 billion.

This growth was a slowdown from the 8.5 percent growth experienced last month  and 8.3 percent last year.

For the first two months of the year, personal remittances accumulated to $4.794 billion, 5.9 percent higher than last year’s level.

During the two-month period, personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more rose 9.1 percent to $3.8 billion, while transfers from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year slumped five percent to $900 million compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, cash remitted by Filipinos through banks from overseas grew to $2.169 billion in February, mainly contributed by land-based workers abroad, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

According to the latest BSP data, the amount of cash remitted was 3.4 percent higher than the $2.098 recorded the same month in 2016.

However, the growth in cash remittances in February slowed down from the 8.6 percent recorded in January, and from the 8.4 percent recorded in February last year.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances amounted to $4.338 billion, an increase of 5.9 percent from the first two months in 2016.

More than 75 percent, or $1.7 billion of cash remittances in February alone were sourced from land-based workers, while the rest came from sea-based workers.

The top six sources of cash remittances during the month were the US, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan.

Cash sent from the US alone jumped 12.8 percent, contributing 3.9 percentage points to the overall growth in remittances.

“Meanwhile, remittances from the UAE, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan, which grew by 23.7 percent, 53.5 percent, 17.5 percent, 64.4 percent and 11.3 percent, respectively, contributed a combined 5.5 percentage points to the total growth in remittances,” the BSP said in a statement.