MANILA – Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) increased by 6.4 percent year-on-year to USD2.8 billion in March 2019 from USD2.6 billion in March 2018.
This brought the total remittances for the first quarter of 2019 to USD8.1 billion, higher by 3.7 percent compared to the USD7.8 billion posted in the same period last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The continued growth in personal remittances during the first three months of 2019 was driven by steady remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to USD6.2 billion, and compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts, which totaled USD1.7 billion.
Similarly, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks in March 2019 amounted to USD2.5 billion, up by 6.6 percent year-on-year from the USD2.4 billion recorded in March 2018.
Of the 6.6 percent growth in March 2019, 2.0, 1.7 and 1.2 percentage points were contributed by the United States (US), Singapore and the United Kingdom (UK), respectively.
On a cumulative basis, cash remittances for the first quarter rose to USD7.3 billion, 4.2 percent higher than the first quarter 2018 level of USD7 billion.
This growth was buoyed by the increase in remittances from both land-based (USD5.71 billion) and sea-based (USD1.58 billion) workers, which rose by 2.5 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.
By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.1 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Kuwait.
The combined remittances from these countries accounted for almost 78 percent of total cash remittances from January to March 2019./PN