Manila Bulletin

Remit­tances grow 5% to $26.9 B in 2016

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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.

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