By Lee C. Chipongian

Cash remittances sent by overseas Filipinos amounted to $4.78 billion in the first two months of 2019, up by three percent year-on-year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

MB file photo.

Cash remittances, which are remittances transferred via formal banking channels and easily captured by the BSP, for the month of February alone rose by 1.5 percent year-on-year to $2.30 billion.

According to the BSP, the increase in remittances from both land-based and sea-based workers, which rose by one percent and 10.5 percent, respectively, stood at $3.73 billion and $1.06 billion.

“By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent,” said the BSP. Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Germany were also top sources of remittances. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February, the BSP noted.

As for personal remittances, for the first two months, this reached $5.30 billion, up 2.3 percent year-on-year.

For February only, personal remittances went up by 1.2 percent to $2.56 billion.

Personal remittances from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8.5 percent to $570 million in February, said the BSP.

“This compensated for the 0.43 percent decline in the personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, to $1.93 billion from $1.94 billion,” it added. Personal remittances was first reported in 2012 and are the sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers and capital transfers between households.

Last year, cash remittances rose by 3.1 percent to $28.94 billion from 2017, while personal remittances went up by three percent to $32.21 billion.