Personal remittances continued to rise in March, registering a 6.9-percent growth to $2.1 billion from a year ago due to robust remittance flows from both land and sea-based overseas Filipino workers, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.
This brought the cumulative remittances for the first three months of the year to $6.085 billion.
“The steady increase in personal remittances during the first three months of the year was driven by strong growth in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts (which increased by 4.5 percent) and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts (which jumped 10.9 percent),” the BSP said.
Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose 6.5 percent to $1.883 billion in March from last year’s level.
The BSP said money sent home by land-based workers went up 4.5 percent to $4.1 billion in the first three months of the year, while those sent by sea-based workers climbed 10.9 percent to $1.4 million.
Main sources of remittances during the three-month period were the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
“Robust cash transfers in the first quarter of 2014 were supported by the sustained demand for skilled Filipino manpower,” the central bank said.
The BSP, citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, said there were 239,022 approved job orders in the first three months of the year.
These job orders were largely for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Kuwait, and Qatar.
The expansion of bank and non-bank remittance service providers abroad also supported the increase in remittances, the BSP said.
As of end-March, commercial banks’ tie-ups, remittance centres, correspondent banks, and branches or representative offices abroadamounted to 4,771.
Source: The Philippine Star
By: Kathleen A. Martin