MANILA, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) registered a record high of 3.2 billion U.S. dollars in December 2018, up 3.6 percent year-on-year, the Philippine central bank said on Friday.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Nestor Espenilla said personal remittances reached 32.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, the highest annual level to date.
The growth in personal remittances during the year was driven by remittance inflows from land-based OFs with work contracts of one year or more and remittances from both sea-based and land-based OFs with work contracts of less than one year, which rose annually by 2.8 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, he added.
Personal remittance is a major driver of domestic consumption and, it accounted for 9.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 8.1 percent of the gross national income (GNI) in 2018, Espenilla said.
Similarly, Espenilla said cash remittances in December 2018 grew markedly 3.9 percent year-on-year to reach an all-time high of 2.8 billion U.S. dollars. The countries that contributed most to the increase in the month were the United States and Canada.
Full year cash remittances registered a 3.1-percent growth to reach 28.9 billion U.S. dollars, he said.
"Cash remittances in 2018 remained strong amid political uncertainties across the globe," Espenilla said.
This is evident in Asia, the Americas and Europe, which grew annually 12.3 percent, 9.7 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
Espenilla said the growth in these regions made up for a 15.3-percent decrease in remittances from the Middle East, partly due to the continued repatriation program of the government.
By country or regional source, he said the bulk of cash remittances for the year came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Japan.
"Cash remittances from these countries accounted for almost 79 percent of total cash remittances," Espenilla concluded.