Personal remittances rise by 2.4 percent in February 2023

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) rose by 2.4 percent to US$2.86 billion in February 2023 from US$2.79 billion recorded in the same month last year. The increase in personal remittances in February 2023 was due to higher remittances sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year.

The expansion in February 2023 remittances increased the cumulative personal remittances to US$5.93 billion in the first two months of 2023, which is 3.0 percent higher than the US$5.76 billion in the comparable period in 2022.

Of the personal remittances from OFs, cash remittances coursed through banks rose by 2.4 percent to US$2.57 billion in February 2023 from US$2.51 billion in the comparable month a year ago. The expansion in cash remittances in February 2023 was due to the growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances coursed through banks in January-February 2023 amounted to US$5.33 billion, up by 3.0 percent from US$5.18 billion recorded in the same period a year-ago.

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Qatar contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in January – February 2023. Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US posted the highest share of overall remittances during the said period, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.[1]

[1] There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also, remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.