Remittances grow 5% to $26.9 B in 2016
Cash remittances channeled through the banks increased five percent year-onyear in 2016 to $26.9 billion, right on target based on central bank growth estimates for the year.
Personal remittances, in the meantime, grew by 4.9 percent year-on-year to $29.706 billion which also surpassed the projection of four percent for 2016.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo, currently governor-in-charge, said in a statement that the growth in personal remittances was boosted by the 7.6 percent expansion in fund transfers worth $23.2 billion sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more.
The $23.2 billion offset the 3.7 percent drop in remittances that came from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year. This reached about $6.1 billion, according to Guinigundo.
“The solid growth of overseas Filipinos remittances continues to be a major driver of domestic demand,” the statement said quoting Guinigundo. In 2016, personal remittances accounted for 8.1 percent of gross national income and 9.8 percent gross domestic product.
The bank-channelled cash remittances, on other hand, was driven by the $21.3-billion transfers from land-based workers that increased by 7.6 percent during the period. The sea-based workers’ transfers however declined by 3.8 percent to $5.6 billion. “This may have been due partly to stiffer competition in the supply of seafarers from East Asia and Eastern Europe, said Guinigundo.
On a monthly basis, the Decemberonly personal remittances which amounted to $2.8 billion and up 3.6 percent yearon-year was a new record high.
It is similar with cash remittances which reached $2.6 billion for the month of December alone. This is 3.6 percent more compared to the same period in 2015.
A big portion of remittances came from Filipinos based in the US, Qatar, and Japan.
“Cash remittances in 2016 continued to increase on the back of improving global economic conditions,” said Guinigundo.
By country of source, the US, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, UK, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong and Germany accounted for 80 percent of the total cash remittances last year.