The amount of dollars sent home by millions of Filipinos overseas continued its unbroken uptrend in July due to an increase in remittances from both sea- and land-based Filipino workers, the central bank said on Monday.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said personal remittances from overseas Filipinos reached $2.7 billion in July 2018, higher by 4.5 percent compared to the level posted in the same month in 2017.
On a cumulative basis, personal remittances grew by 3 percent year-on-year to $18.5 billion in January to July, BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said.
The rise in personal remittances in the first seven months of 2018 was supported by an increase of 2.8 percent and 4 percent in remittance inflows from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, respectively.
There are an estimated 10 million Filipinos working or residing overseas and the dollars they send to beneficiaries at home make up a key supporting leg of the local economy. An estimated 10 percent of domestic economic activity is attributed directly or indirectly to these remittances, which totaled $31.2 billion in 2017, excluding funds sent home through informal channels.
According to the BSP, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks totaled $2.4 billion in July 2018, posting a 5.2-percent increase from the level recorded in the same month last year.
Cash remittances sent by land-based workers grew by 4.5 percent to $1.9 billion, while those from sea-based workers expanded by 7.8 percent to $511 million.
By country source, the primary contributors to the growth in cash remittances for the month were the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.
For the first seven months of 2018, cash remittances climbed to $16.6 billion, a 3-percent increase from the level registered in the same period in 2017.
In particular, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers totaled $13.1 billion and $3.5 billion, respectively. More than 79 percent of the total cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Japan, the United Kingdom, Qatar, Canada, Germany and Hong Kong.
Personal remittances represent the sum of net compensation of employees (i.e., gross earnings of overseas Filipino workers 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 refer to all current transfers in cash or in kind by Filipinos with work contracts of one year or more as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines. Capital transfers between households refer to the provision of resources for capital purposes (such as for construction of residential houses between resident and nonresident households without anything of economic value being supplied in return).
By: Daxim L. Lucas, September 18, 2018
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
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