Personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in 2014 set an all-time high for the Philippines at $26.93 billion, exceeding the central bank’s growth target of 5 percent for the year with a 6.2 percent increase, official data shows.
The latest annual level broke the previous record of $25.35 billion posted in 2013.
The amount sent home by the OFWs in December alone reached its highest monthly level to date at $2.56 billion, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday showed.
Personal remittances continued to breach the $2-billion mark for the 10th consecutive month in December, representing a 6.4-percent year-on-year rise.
The BSP attributed the sustained expansion in remittance flows to the 5.5-percent increase in fund transfers made by land-based OFWs with work contracts of one year or more.
Remittances from both sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts posted a 6.9-percent increase.
The central bank data also showed that cash remittances coursed through banks grew 5.8 percent to $24.31 billion in full-year 2014.
“Robust growth in overseas Filipino remittances continued to provide support to the country’s economy, with cash remittances accounting for 8.5 percent of gross domestic product in 2014,” the BSP said in a statement.
In December, cash remittances reached $2.32 billion, up 6.6 percent from a year earlier.
For full-year 2014, cash transfers from land-based Filipino workers stood at $18.7 billion and from sea-based workers at $5.6 billion.
The BSP data showed that the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong were the major sources of cash remittances by Filipinos last year.