MANILA, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) totalled 2.9 billion U.S. dollars in August 2019, 4.2 percent higher than the 2.8 billion U.S. dollars in August 2018, the Philippine central bank said on Tuesday.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or the central bank of the Philippines said this brings personal remittances for the first eight months of 2019 to 22 billion U.S. dollars, up by 3.6 percent from last years' level of 21.2 billion U.S. dollars.
"The steady growth in personal remittances during the first eight months of 2019 drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based OF workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated 16.8 billion U.S. dollars from 16.3 billion U.S. dollars in the same period last year," the BSP added.
According to the BSP, inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to the growth and totalled 4.7 billion U.S. dollars from 4.4 billion U.S. dollars a year ago.
The BSP also said that cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks rose to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars in August 2019, from 2.5 billion U.S. dollars last year, bringing cash remittances for the first eight months this year to 19.8 billion U.S. dollars from 19.1 billion U.S. dollars recorded in the same period last year.
"Cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 2.8 percent to 15.5 billion U.S. dollars and 8.2 percent to 4.3 billion U.S. dollars, respectively, for January to August 2019," the BSP said.
By country source, the BSP said the U.S. registered the highest share of overall remittances for January to August 2019 at 37 percent.
It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Britain.
The government estimates the number of overseas Filipino workers at 12 million, accounting for one-tenth of the country's population.
The Philippine central bank sees cash remittances growing by three percent this year.
Overseas Filipinos remittances are one of the largest sources of foreign exchange income in the Philippines.