May OFW remittances rise 5.5% to $2.3B


Personal remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) rose 5.5 percent year-on-year in May amid sustained demand for skilled Filipinos abroad and efforts by remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic networks.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed that personal remittances reached $2.32 billion in May against $2.2 billion in the same month last year, bringing total remittances for the first five months to $10.97 billion, up 5.2 percent from the $10.43 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“Remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the BSP said in a statement released along with the figures.
It said the growth in remittances in May reflected an improvement from the 4.9 percent pace seen in April.

Personal remittances consist of net compensation for land-based overseas workers with short-term (one year or less) contracts and all sea-based workers; personal transfers in cash or in kind between overseas Filipinos or longer-term overseas workers and their families in the Philippines; and capital transfers between households, such as funds for home construction.

Meanwhile, cash remittances, or those coursed through banks, rose 5.8 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion in May from $1.98 billion a year earlier.

A breakdown of remittances during the five-month period shows funds coursed through banks increased to $9.91 billion, or 5.4 percent more than the amount sent in the same period last year.

The central bank noted that cash remittances during the period from land-based and sea-based Filipinos reached $7.5 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively.

The BSP said that the continued efforts of bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage, and the introduction of innovations in financial products and services in the remittance market, contributed to support stronger remittance flows.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong and Canada were the major sources of the cash remittances for the five-month period.

Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that there were 386,163 approved job orders in the first five months of 2015.

Of the total job orders, 35.4 percent were processed intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

In 2014, personal remittances set an all-time high of $24.96 billion, while cash remittances reached $24.34 billion.


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