Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFW) remittances hit a record high in the period of January to April 2017 with a total of $10 billion, as announced by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. last June 15.
The largest part of personal remittances came from land-based workers with one year or more work contracts, which gathered $7.8 billion. On the other hand, OFWs with less than one year work contracts classified as sea-based and land-based workers contributed $2.1 billion worth of personal remittances.
All this earned a 4.7 percent growth from last year’s $9.6 billion in the same period. The increase was seen despite April 2017 having 5.2% lower remittances.
According to BSP, the decline in April was partly due to lower US dollar value of remittances, and less banking days due to the Holy Week.
The top four countries that have seen a decline in cash remittances were Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia, and United Kingdom. The repatriation of workers under the Saudi Arabian Amnesty program was one of the reasons for the decrease in OFW remittances in Saudi Arabia.
Eighty percent of the OFW cash remittances reported for the first quarter of 2017 came from the following countries:
- United States
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- Hong Kong
The steady stream of remittances in the Philippines have helped improved the quality of life and household spending of Filipinos, especially those who solely rely on the OFW’s income.
Approximately 9.8% of the 2016 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was made up of bank and non-bank transfers of personal remittances.