January to April 2017 Remittances Reach $10B

Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to $10 billion for January to April 2017, registering 4.7 percent year-on-year growth, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced today.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more aggregated $7.8 billion while those from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year totaled $2.1 billion for the same period. However, personal remittances in April (at $2.3 billion) were 5.2 percent lower than the level posted in the same month last year.

For the first four months of 2017, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks recorded 4.2 percent growth from the level posted in the same period a year ago, reaching $9 billion. Specifically, remittances sent by land-based workers increased by 5.8 percent, compensating for the 1.4 percent decline in sea-based workers’ remittances. For April alone, total cash remittances fell by 5.9 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion. This was attributed to the 7.6 percent drop in cash remittances from land-based workers which offset the marginal increase (0.3 percent) in transfers from sea-based workers. The top countries that registered declines in cash remittances in April were Saudi Arabia (partly as a result of repatriation of workers under the Saudi Arabian Amnesty program), followed by Singapore, Australia, and United Kingdom (UK).

Aside from recorded declines in cash remittances (in original currency) in these countries, the lower US dollar value of remittances in April could be partly due to the depreciation of major host countries’ currencies vis-à-vis the US dollar, such as the Singaporean dollar, Australian dollar, pound sterling and the euro. Furthermore, the decrease in remittances could be attributed to the lesser number of banking days in April 2017 compared to the same month a year ago.

Cash remittances coming from the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Japan, UK, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Canada comprised about 80 percent of total cash remittances in the first four months of 2017.

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