Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to $2.3 billion in September 2014, rising by 8.1 percent relative to the comparable period last year. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances for the period January–September 2014 reached $19.6 billion, representing a 6.7 percent year-on-year growth, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said.
The increase in personal remittances in the first nine months of the year was driven largely by the steady increase in transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more (5.4 percent), and sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year (8.2 percent).
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks increased by 7.9 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion in September 2014. For the first nine months of 2014, cash remittances reached $17.6 billion, or a 6.1 percent growth compared to $16.6 billion in the same period last year. Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers grew by 5.4 percent (to $13.5 billion) and 8.3 percent (to $4.2 billion), respectively. The bulk of cash remittances (about 80 percent) came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.
Remittances remained resilient on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas. Based on preliminary reports from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) for the period January-September 2014, job orders reached 680,392, of which 43.1 percent were processed job orders intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Qatar.
Moreover, 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 OFs facilitated the inflow of remittances. As of end-September 2014, the number of commercial banks’ established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks, and branches/representative offices abroad totaled 4,587, four percent higher than the level as of end-September 2013.