PERSONAL remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) totaled US$16.3 billion in the first half (H1) of 2019, a 2.9 percent growth, from the US$15.8 billion recorded in the same period last year, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more grew by 1.8 percent to US$12.4 billion in H1 2019 from US$12.2 billion in H1 2018.
Similarly, personal remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts increased by 8.8 percent to US$3.5 billion in H1 2019 from US$3.2 billion in H1 2018.
However, on a monthly basis, the amount of personal remittances in June 2019 decreased slightly by 2.7 percent to US$2.5 billion from US$2.6 billion in the same month a year ago.
For January to June 2019, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks recorded a 3.2 percent growth to reach US$14.6 billion from US$14.2 billion in the same period last year.
Cash remittances sent by land-based workers rose by 1.8 percent year-on-year (y-o-y) to US$11.4 billion, and transfers from sea-based workers grew by 8.7 percent y-o-y to US$3.2 billion.
For June alone, however, cash remittances posted a 2.9 percent decrease to US$2.3 billion in 2019 from US$2.4 billion in the same period a year ago. This was attributed to the 5.4 percent y-o-y drop in cash remittances from land-based workers, which was mitigated by the 6.3 percent increase y-o-y in transfers from sea-based workers.
The countries that contributed to the decline In June 2019 were Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances from January to June 2019 at 36.4 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and Qatar.
The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78 percent of total cash remittances from January to June 2019. (BSP)