Manila—(PHStocks)—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)—Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) increased by 5.2 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion in April 2014. On a cumulative basis, personal remittances rose by 6.2 percent reach $8.2 billion in January – April 2014 relative to the same period last year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
The sustained growth in personal remittances during the first four months of 2014 was due mainly to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (8.3 percent).
Meanwhile, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks grew by 5.2 percent year-on-year to $1.9 billion in April 2014. This brought cash remittances for the first four months of the year to $7.4 billion, higher by 5.8 percent than the level recorded in the comparable period in 2013. Cash remittances from both land-based ($5.6 billion) and sea-based ($1.8 billion) workers rose by 5 percent and 8.3 percent year-on-year, respectively, during the January-April 2014 period. The major sources of cash remittances were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Remittance flows remained robust on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that in January-April 2014, approved job orders totaled 319,888, of which 24.9 percent were processed job orders intended for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, and Qatar.
The continued expansion of the network of banks and non-bank service providers and innovations in financial products in the remittance market have likewise provided for the wider capture of fund transfers through formal channels, facilitating the increased inflows of cash remittances.