Remittances from Filipinos abroad increased for the eighth straight month with the start of the so-called ’ber months and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sending more money to their loved ones in time for the Christmas season.
Data released by the central bank showed personal remittances went up by 4.8 percent to a two-month high of $3.03 billion in September from $2.89 billion in the same month last year.
Personal remittances include all current transfers in cash or in kind by OFWs, as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines.
The BSP attributed the increase in personal remittances in September to the 6.2 percent rise in remittances sent by land-based workers with contracts of more than one year to $2.34 billion from $2.21 billion, as well as the 1.7 percent rise in the amount sent home by sea- and land-based workers with short-term contracts to $633 million from $623 million.
From January to September, the central bank said personal remittances grew by 5.7 percent to $25.7 billion from $24.3 billion in the same period last year.
Likewise, cash remittances coursed through banks grew by 5.1 percent to a two-month high of $2.74 billion in September from $2.6 billion in the same month last year.
The BSP said cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 6.2 percent to $2.16 billion from $2.03 billion, while that of sea-based workers increased by 1.9 percent to $581million from $570 million.
As a result, cash remittances went up by 5.6 percent to $23.12 billion from January to September this year from a year-ago level of $21.89 billion.
“The growth in cash remittances from the US, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January-September 2021,” the BSP said.
In terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 40.8 percent in the first nine months, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea.
The combined remittances from the top 10 countries accounted for 78.9 percent of total cash remittances.
Both personal and cash remittances have been recording growths after contracting by 1.7 percent in January.
The BSP expects OFW remittances to grow by six instead of four percent this year amid the continued reopening of the global economy from strict COVID-19 lockdowns.