Remittances rise by 4% in February

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(File photo) The World Bank says that personal remittances comprised 9.8% of Philippine GDP in 2013.

(CNN Philippines) — Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent $2.1billion worth of personal remittances to the country last February, according to the Bangko Sentral. The figure amounts to a 4% year-on-year growth from the $1.998 billion recorded February last year.

Likewise, the Bangko Sentral said in a statement that total personal remittance inflows for the first two months of the year reached $4.1 billion, also posting a year-on-year growth of 2.1%.

Read: FDI down 71% in Janaury

Most of the funds came from migrants' transfers and land-based workers with contracts lasting one year or longer. — they sent home a total of $3.1 billion. On the other hand, sea-based and land-based workers with contracts lasting less than one year remitted about $1 billion.

Cash remittances, which are coursed through banks, amounted to $1.9 billion last February. The figure is 4.2% higher compared to that of the same period in 2014. Total cash remittances for the first two months of this year grew by 2.4% year-on-year to $3.7 billion.

The central bank said that the bulk of cash remittances came from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K., Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada.

The bank said that the "steady" deployment of OFWs remained a key driver in the sustained inflows of remittances.

"Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that approved job orders reached 164,525 for the period January-February 2015, of which 26.5 percent were processed job orders that were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Taiwan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates," it said.

Related: Exports drop 3.2% in February, regional slowdown blamed

About $27 billion worth of remittances entered the country last year.

Statistics from the POEA show that as of 2013, most land-based overseas workers went to the Middle East — Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the top destinations for new hires and rehires. On the other hand, ships bearing the flags of Panama or the Bahamas were the top assignments for sea-based workers.

Remittances comprise a significant share of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Figures from the World Bank show that personal remittances alone comprised 9.8% of Philippine GDP in 2013.