Cash remittances via banks increased by 2.9 percent to $15.35 billion in the first six months from $14.92 billion same period last year, based on Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data.
Remittances also transferred through the formal banking system for the month of June only rose 4.4 percent to $2.75 billion versus $2.64 billion in 2021.
The BSP said on Monday, Aug. 15, that the growth in cash remittances came from the higher receipts from land-based and sea-based overseas Filipinos.
Land-based workers remitted $2.2 billion in June, up by 4.9 percent from $2.1 billion same time last year. Sea-based workers, meanwhile, reported unchanged remittances of $500 million for both periods. The data includes land-based workers who have work contracts of one year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year.
“In terms of country source, the growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, Japan, Qatar, and Singapore contributed largely to the increase in remittances in the first half of 2022,” according to the BSP.
Overseas Filipinos in the US accounted for 41.1 percent of total cash remittances. Other country sources are Saudi Arabia, Japan, Qatar, and Singapore.
The BSP said personal remittances of overseas Filipinos as of end-June increased by 2.8 percent to $17.09 billion compared to $16.62 billion in 2021.
For June only, personal remittances grew by 4.4 percent to $3.1 billion from $2.9 billion.
Personal remittances are the sum of the net compensation of overseas Filipinos, personal transfers and capital transfers between households.
The increase in personal remittances was due to remittances sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year, noted the BSP.
How households with overseas Filipino remittances as source of income make use of these funds is monitored by the BSP through its Consumer Expectations Survey.
The quarterly survey said that for the second quarter, 97.5 percent of surveyed households with overseas Filipinos indicated that remittance proceeds were used for food and other household needs, while 58.4 percent and 53.4 percent apportioned their remittances for education and medical expenses, respectively.
In 2021, cash remittances increased by 5.1 percent year-on-year to a record high of $31.42 billion but was off the expected six percent growth for the year.
The central bank expects cash remittances to increase by four percent this year.