MANILA (Mabuhay) – Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached US$25.1 billion last year, 7.6 per cent higher than the previous year.
The Philippine central bank said Monday remittances in December amounted to US$2.4 billion, up 12.5 per cent compared to December 2012, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Remittances in December marks the ninth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances breached the US$2 billion level,” the bank said in a statement.
Cash remittances channeled through banks grew by 6.4 per cent on year to US$22.8 billion last year, exceeding the central bank’s projection of a 5-per cent hike for the year.
Major sources of cash remittances last year were the US, Saudi Arabia, UK, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Canada, and Japan.
The central bank said the robust growth of remittances last year was due to the strong demand for skilled Filipino manpower abroad particularly in the Middle East.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed there were 1.8 million OFWs last year.
Cash remittances accounted for 8.4 per cent of Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.(MNS)