Personal remittances reach new record high in December 2022

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) posted a new record high of US$3.49 billion in December 2022, up by  5.7 percent from the US$3.30 billion recorded in December 2021.

The increase in personal remittances in December 2022 was due to higher remittances sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year.

Consequently, the full-year 2022 personal remittances also reached an all-time high of US$36.14 billion. This level was 3.6 percent higher than the US$34.88 billion remittance flows in 2021.

The robust inward remittances reflected the increasing demand for foreign workers amid the reopening of economies.

The full-year 2022 level accounted for 8.9 percent and 8.4 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI), respectively.

Of the personal remittances from OFs, cash remittances coursed through banks grew by 5.8 percent to US$3.16 billion in December 2022, from US$2.99 billion registered in the same month in 2021.

The expansion in cash remittances in December 2022 was due to the growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers.

On a year-to-date basis, full-year 2022 cash remittances coursed through banks amounted to US$32.54 billion, up by 3.6 percent from the US$31.42 billion recorded in 2021.

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (U.S.), Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Qatar, and United Kingdom contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January-December 2022.

Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the U.S. posted the highest share of overall remittances in 2022, followed by Singapore and Saudi Arabia.[1]

[1] There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also, remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.