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OFW remittances up 5.2 pct in April

Posted at | Updated as of 06/17/14 2:10 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Remittances grew in April due to continuous demand for overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

Cash remittances, which help power domestic consumption, climbed 5.2 percent to $1.91 billion in April. This brought the four-month total to $7.39 billion.

Remittances sent by land-based OFWs jumped 5 percent to $5.6 billion in April while remittances from sea-based workers grew 8.3 percent to $1.8 billion.

“Remittance flows remained robust on the back of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers,” the BSP said.

The main sources of remittances in April were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Singapore.

Meanwhile, total personal remittances reached $2.12 billion in April, up 5.2 percent from the $2.09 billion in March.

The four-month tally for personal remittances, made up of cash and non-cash items, amounted to $8.21 billion.

“The sustained growth in personal remittances during the first four months of 2014 was due mainly to the steady increase in remittance flows from both land-based workers with long-term contracts and sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts,” the central bank said.

Personal remittances represent the sum of net compensation, household-to-household transfers in cash and kind, and capital transfers of OFWs.

Remittances in 2013 increased by 7.4 percent to a record $22.97 billion. The BSP is eyeing a 5-percent growth in remittances this year.

Steady remittances from Filipinos working and living overseas help support the country's foreign exchange reserves and keep the balance of payments in surplus. -- With Reuters