Manila–(PHStocks)–Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to $2.1 billion in February 2015, an increase of 4 percent compared to the same period in 2014.
As a result, remittance inflows for the first two months of the year reached $4.1 billion, posting a year-on-year growth of 2.1 percent, said Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Officer-in-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla Jr.
For the period January-February 2015, personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and migrants’ transfers totaled $3.1 billion. Meanwhile those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year aggregated $1 billion.
Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks summed up to $1.9 billion in February 2015, higher by 4.2 percent than the level posted a year ago. This brought cash remittances for the first two months of 2015 to $3.7 billion, representing a 2.4 percent increase relative to the year-ago level. In particular, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers rose to $2.8 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively. The bulk of cash remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.
The slowdown in growth in recent months could be due to base effect as remittances last year were relatively high given higher transfers from overseas Filipinos that were intended for the rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts in Eastern Visayas due to the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda.
The steady deployment of OF workers remained a key driver in the sustained inflows of remittances. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that approved job orders reached 164,525 for the period January-February 2015, of which 26.5 percent were processed job orders that were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.
Likewise, the continued efforts of banks and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage through tie-ups abroad as well as the introduction of innovations in their remittance products continued to provide support to the steady flow of remittances.