MANILA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year to 2.7 billion U.S. dollars in April 2019 from 2.6 billion U.S. dollars in April 2018, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.
On a cumulative basis, the BSP said personal remittances in January to April 2019 totaled 10.8 billion U.S. dollars, higher by 3.7 percent than the 10.4 billion U.S. dollars level recorded in the same period last year.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the continued growth in personal remittances during the first four months of 2019 was driven by steady remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to 8.2 billion U.S. dollars from 8.1 billion U.S. dollars in the same period last year.
Inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to this growth and totaled 2.3 billion U.S. dollars from 2.1 billion U.S. dollars a year ago, Diokno added.
Similarly, the BSP said cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks amounted to 2.4 billion U.S. dollars in April 2019, an increase of 4 percent year-on-year from the 2.3 billion U.S. dollars recorded in April 2018.
The BSP said this growth was supported by remittances from both land-based (1.8 billion U.S. dollars), and sea-based (0.6 billion U.S. dollars) workers, which rose by 2.2 percent and 10.6 percent, respectively.
This brought cash remittances for January to April 2019 to 9.7 billion U.S. dollars, higher by 4.1 percent compared to the January to April 2018 level of 9.4 billion U.S. dollars, the BSP said.
By country or region source, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances for January to April 2019 at 35.9 percent.
Overseas Filipinos remittances are one of the largest sources of foreign exchange income in the Philippines.
According to the BSP, personal remittances is a major driver of domestic consumption and, in 2018, accounting for 9.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 8.1 percent of the gross national income (GNI).
The government estimates the number of overseas Filipino workers at 12 million, accounting for one-tenth of the country's population of just over 100 million.