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Remittances up 4.5% end-May to $12.3 billion.

By Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said bank-channeled remittances went up by 4.5 percent year-on-year to $12.3 billion as of end-May.

These cash remittances, according to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, are mostly from land-based overseas Filipinos which sent home $9.7 billion during the period, up 3.2 percent year-on-year.

Sea-based workers remitted $2.7 billion, up 3.2 percent from same time last year.

For the month of May only, cash remittances increased by 5.7 percent year-on-year to $2.6 billion.

"By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances for January to May 2019 at 36 percent," said the BSP.

The remittance data by source is limited since most correspondent banks used by remittance centers as well as money couriers are based in the US. The US would naturally appear as a major location where remittances are recorded.

Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and Kuwait are also top sources of remittances. "The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78 percent of total cash remittances from January to May," said the BSP.

Personal remittances, on the other hand, reached $13.7 billion as of end-May, up 4.1 percent year-on-year.

For just May, personal remittances totaled $2.9 billion, 5.5 percent higher from last year.

In a statement, the BSP said the "steady growth in personal remittances during the first five months of 2019 drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to $10.5 billion from $10.2 billion in the same period last year."

The BSP also said Inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to this growth and totaled $2.9 billion.

Personal remittances was first reported in 2012 and are the sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers and capital transfers between households.

While the BSP revised most of it external sector projection for 2019, it has not changed its growth estimates for remittances which remains at three percent for this year.

Diokno has said that the country's external payments position continue to be "resilient and sustainable as it enjoys support from different fronts" such as remittances, revenues from the IT-BPO industry, and tourism receipts, as well as from foreign direct investments.

In 2018, cash remittances increased by 3.1 percent to $28.94 billion from what was reported in 2017, while personal remittances grew by three percent to $32.21 billion.


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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 15, 2019
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