MANILA, April 15 (Xinhua) -- Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to 5.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first two months of 2019, representing a 2.3 percent year-on-year growth, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said on Monday.
Personal remittances, the sum of transfers sent in cash or in-kind via informal channels, were registered at 2.56 billion U.S. dollars in February and 2.74 billion U.S. dollars in January, said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.
For the first two months of 2019, the Philippine central bank said cash remittances amounted to 4.78 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 3 percent compared to the same period last year.
"This growth was supported by the increase in remittances from both land-based, which reached 3.73 billion U.S. dollars, and sea-based, which reached 1.06 billion U.S. dollars, workers, which rose by 1.0 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively," the BSP said.
By the region source, the BSP said the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for the period at 35.5 percent, followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Britain, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Canada, Qatar, Germany and China's Hong Kong.
The combined remittances from these countries and regions accounted for 77.3 percent of total cash remittances for January to February 2019, the BSP said.
Overseas Filipinos remittances are one of the largest sources of foreign exchange income in the Philippines.
The government estimates the number of overseas Filipino workers at 10 million, accounting for one-tenth of the country's population.