Overseas Filipinos sent home $20.38 billion of bank-transferred cash remittances as of end August, 5.7 percent percent from $19.28 billion same time last year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Friday, Oct. 15.
For the month of August only, cash remittances increased by 5.1 percent to $2.61 billion from $2.48 billion same time in 2020. Cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 4.1 percent to $2.03 billion from $1.95 billion same time last year. Sea-based workers’ remittances went up by 8.6 percent to $577 million from $531 million.
US, Malaysia, and South Korea accounted for a large portion of cash remittances during the first eight months of the year.
The US will naturally registered as a significant source of remittances with a 40.7 percent share because most correspondent banks that remittance companies use are based in the US.
Other top sources of remittances are Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar, and Taiwan. “The combined remittances from these top ten countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances,” said the BSP.
The BSP also reported that cumulative personal remittances – these are remittances that did not pass through banking networks – grew by 5.9 percent to $22.67 billion from $21.41 billion in 2020.
For August only, personal remittances went up by 4.8 percent to $2.89 billion from $2.75 billion same time last year. Personal remittances is the sum of net compensation of employees such as gross earnings of overseas Filipinos, and their personal transfers including household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines. The computation also includes capital transfers between households.
Remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, increased by 4.2 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.12 billion in 2020. Sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8.4 percent to $629 million from $580 million last year.
Last month, the BSP updated its remittances projection for 2021. From four percent growth, it now expects remittances to grow by six percent this year as economies where overseas Filipinos are located have started to open up.
The BSP said the increased global demand for foreign workers as host economies transition to recovery mode, and enhanced access to digital financial services to facilitate remittance transfers will boost fund transfers in the next two years.
For 2022, the BSP expects remittances growth to return to its previous annual four percent growth.
The last time remittances were expanding at the six percent level or higher was in 2014 when it registered an annual 7.2 percent growth.