(Via: PhilStar )
MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances – made up of cash and non-cash items – from overseas Filipino workers went up 5.2 percent to $2.124 billion in April from $2.09 billion a month ago, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.
The 5.2-percent growth brought the four-month tally to $8.209 billion.
“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 and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts,” the central bank said.
Without “in kind” transfers, cash remittances rose 5.2 percent to $1.914 billion in April, bringing the four-month figure to $7.392 billion.
Money sent home by land-based workers rose five percent to $5.6 billion in the four months to April, while those coming from sea-based workers grew 8.3 percent to $1.8 billion.
The United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong were the main sources of remittances during the period.
“Remittance flows remained robust on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers,” the BSP said.
Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the BSP said there were 319,888 approved job orders from January to April. Of the total, most of the job approvals were for service, production, and professional, technical, and related workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, and Qatar.
At the same time, the expansion of banks and non-bank service providers in the remittance market provided a boost to fund transfers, the BSP said.
Remittances play a big role in supporting domestic consumption, which remains to be the largest driver of the Philippine economy.
Last year, cash remittances surged 7.4 percent to $22.968 billion, the highest ever recorded by the central bank. Personal remittances, meanwhile, grew 8.6 percent to $25.351 billion.
The BSP hopes to grow cash remittances by five percent this year from the 2013 figure.