PERSONAL remittances by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached $2.33 billion in September, higher than the $2.27 billion recorded in August and up 8.1 percent from last year, the central bank said on Monday.
Remittances in September last year stood at $2.16 billion.
Cumulative remittances in the nine months to September rose 6.7 percent to $19.56 billion from $18.34 billion in the corresponding period in 2013, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
Personal remittances consist of the 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.
Cash remittances, or those coursed through banks, grew 7.9 percent year-on-year to $2.11 billion in September from $1.95 billion a year earlier.
A breakdown of remittances during the nine-month period shows funds coursed through banks increased to $17.65 billion, or 6.1 percent over the amount sent in the same period last year.
The central bank noted that cash remittances during the period from land-based ($13.5 billion) and sea-based ($4.2 billion) workers climbed 5.4 percent and 8.3 percent year-on-year, respectively.
“The network of bank and non-bank remittance channels established worldwide and the efforts of remittance service providers to expand financial services to cater to the various needs of overseas Filipinos facilitated the inflow of remittances,” the BSP said in a statement released along with the figures.
As of end-September, the BSP reported that the number of commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks, and branches/representative officer abroad totaled 4,587, or 4 percent higher than that of the same period in 2013.
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 nine-month period.
In terms of overseas jobs, the BSP cited the latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which showed that in the first nine months of 2014, there were 680,392 approved job orders.
“Remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas,” the central bank said.
Of the total job orders, 43.1 percent were processed intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related employment in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Qatar.
In 2013, personal remittances totaled $23.35 billion. This year, the BSP expects cash remittances to reach P24.1 billion, or 5 percent higher than the previous year’s level.