Ahead of the opening of classes, Filipinos abroad sent home $2.31 billion in May, a 5.5 percent increase year-on-year, which kept monthly remittances above the $2-billion level for the 16th straight month.
Cash remittances sent through banks last May rose from $2.188 billion a year ago and exceeded the $2.083 billion in April, the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data released Monday showed.
The growth in cash remittances that month reversed the 5.9-percent drop posted in April.
In a statement, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said remittances from land-based overseas Filipino workers in May rose 6.2 percent year-on-year to $1.8 billion, while those from sea-based OFWs grew 3 percent to $500 million.
Espenilla said the top contributors to the increase in cash remittances last May were the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United States.
From January to May, remittances totaled $11.346 billion, up 4.5 percent from $10.859 billion in the first five months of last year.
According to Espenilla, cash sent home by land-based OFWs as of end-May increased 5.9 percent year-on-year to $9 billion.
Sea-based OFWs, meanwhile, sent home $2.3 billion during the five-month period, down 0.6 percent from a year ago, Espenilla said.
The BSP said cash remittances from Canada, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the US accounted for fourth-fifths of the end-May total.
Based on updated projections released last month, the BSP expects cash remittances from Filipinos working and living abroad to reach another record-high of $28 billion by yearend.
The BSP had kept the 4-percent remittances growth target for 2017, although the value of the updated forecast was higher than the earlier projection of $27.7 billion.
Cash sent home by overseas Filipinos through banks hit a record $26.9 billion in 2016, up 5 percent from $25.6 billion in 2015.
Remittances are the country’s biggest source of foreign exchange income, helping insulate the domestic economy from external shocks by ensuring the steady supply of dollars into the system.
These cash transfers are also a major driver for domestic consumption, which contributes to robust economic growth. CBB
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