Personal remittances from the Filipinos abroad increased by 6.2 percent to $12.7 billion in the first half of the year from $11.9 billion in the same period last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported Friday.

Governor Amado Tetangco Jr. said the oveseas Filipinos' personal remittances for the month of June was also the highest on record so far this year, am
ounting to $2.3 billion or 7.0 percent higher as compared with the year earlier figures.

In a statement, Tetangco said the sustained growth in personal remittances in January to June was driven by higher amounts of money transfers from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (4.8 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (8.8 percent).

Bangko Sentral also recorded a 5.9-percent year-on-year growth in cash remittances coursed through banks to $2.0 billion in June.

For the first half of the year, cash remittances reached $11.4 billion, higher by 5.8 percent than the $10.8 billion recorded in the same period last year.

In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers expanded by 4.8 percent to $8.7 billion in the first six months from a year earlier.

Cash remittances from sea-based workers increased by 8.8 percent to $2.7 billion in the comparable period.

Origins of cash transfers

The central bank said the bulk or 79 percent of cash remittances originated from the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong.

“Remittances remained robust on the back of stable demand for skilled Filipinos abroad,” the central bank said.

Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the central bank noted that job orders in January to June reached 371, 097, of which 38.5 percent were processed for the service, production, professional, and technical sectors and in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan and Qatar.

The BSP also attributed the steady stream of money transfers to the expansion of international and domestic market coverage of banks and non-bank service providers “through tie-ups and establishment of remittance centers abroad and other financial services.”

As of end-June, commercial banks' established tie-ups, remittance centers, correspondent banks and branches or representative offices abroad rose by 6 percent to 4,675 from 4,409 in the same period last year. – Elizabeth Marcelo/VS, Source: gmanetwork.com/news/story

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