By Lee C. Chipongian
Remittances by Overseas Filipinos (OF) coursed through banking networks increased by 3.2 percent to $14.6 billion in the first six months of 2019, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
For 2019, the BSP is projecting a three percent growth for cash remittances.
These cash remittances are sent by land-based and sea-based overseas Filipinos. As of end-June, land-based workers remitted $11.4 billion, up 1.8 percent year-on-year. Sea-based transfers went up by 8.7 percent year-on-year to $3.2 billion.
For the month of June only, bank-channeled remittances, however, were lower by 2.9 percent year-on-year at $2.3 billion.
The decline was due to a 5.4 percent decrease in cash remittances from land-based workers in June, with significantly lower contributions from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The BSP said this was still offset by a 6.3 percent increase in the remittances from sea-based workers during the period.
“By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances from January to June at 36.4 percent … followed by Saudi
Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong,
Germany and Qatar,” said the BSP. These countries accounted for 78 percent of total cash remittances.
As for personal remittances, the BSP reported a 2.9 percent increase year-on-year to $16.3 billion in the first six months of the year.
The BSP said personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more went up by 1.8 percent to $12.4 billion as of end-June. Sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts grew by 8.8 percent to $3.5 billion during the six-month period.
Similar with cash remittances, the June only personal remittances was down by 2.7 percent year-on-year to $2.5 billion.
Personal remittances were first reported in 2012 and are the sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers and capital transfers between households.