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July 19, 2024

US, Saudi Arabia, Singapore drive OFW remittances surge to $10.8 billion in first 4 months

Overseas Filipinos’ cash remittances increased by 2.8% year-on-year to $10.782 billion as of the end of April, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The BSP reported that remittances through official banking channels rose 3.1% to $2.562 billion in April from $2.485 billion in the same period last year.

The increase in April’s cash remittances was driven by higher inflows from both land-based and sea-based workers. Land-based workers sent $8.53 billion, up 3.2% from $8.27 billion in 2023. Sea-based workers transferred $2.25 billion, up 1.5% from $2.22 billion the previous year.

Including personal remittances, which are fund transfers not processed through banking networks, total remittances grew by 2.8% to $12.010 billion.

Personal remittances are calculated as the sum of an overseas Filipino’s net compensation, personal transfers, and capital transfers between households.

Personal remittances rose by 3.1% to $2.859 billion in April. These remittances originate from land-based workers with contracts of one year or more, as well as sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year.

For the first four months, land-based workers with contracts of one year or more sent $9.24 billion in personal remittances, up 3% from $8.97 billion last year. Sea- and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year sent $2.48 billion, up 2.1%.

The BSP noted that cash remittances from the US, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore were the primary contributors to the increase in remittances in the first four months of the year.

“The US had the highest share of overall remittances during the period, followed by Singapore and Saudi Arabia,” the BSP said, adding that the US often appears as the top source of remittances due to the common practice of routing transfers through US-based correspondent banks.

For 2024, the BSP expects cash remittances to grow by 3% year-on-year. Last year, cash remittances climbed 2.9% to $33.49 billion.

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