MANILA, Philippines - Remittances – cash and non-cash – sent home by Filipinos overseas continued to increase in October on the back of sustained demand for Filipino workers abroad.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data showed remittances went up 6.9 percent to $2.458 billion in October from the same month last year, bringing the 10-month tally to $22.02 billion.
“Personal remittances continued to draw strength from the sustained rise in transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more at 5.6 percent as well as sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year at 8.1 percent,” the central bank said.
Cash remittances surged seven percent to $2.224 billion in October from $2.079 billion in the same month last year.
In the 10 months to October, money sent home by Filipinos living and working abroad increased 6.2 percent to $19.869 billion from year-ago levels.
The bulk of cash remittances was sent from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.
“The steady demand for skilled and professional Filipino manpower supported the growth in remittance flows,” the BSP said.
Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the central bank said job orders reached 768,741 as of October. More than a third of these job orders were intended for service, production, and professional, technical, and related workers in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Qatar.
At the same time, the central bank said continuous efforts of banks to provide remittance services for Filipinos abroad.
Remittances support domestic consumption, the largest driver of the Philippine economy. Cash remittances last year summed up to $22.968 billion and made up more than eight percent of the country’s gross domestic product.
The BSP has forecast remittances to grow by 5.5 percent this year over 2013 levels.