Overseas Filipinos remitted 2.27 billion USD to their home country through the Central Bank of the Philippines (BSP) in August, registering a year-on-year rise of 7.2 percent.

This brought the total cash remittances in eight months to 17.23 billion USD, up 6.5 percent against the same period last year.

The money was mainly sent from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, Singapore, Japan, Canada and China’s Hong Kong.

Strong demand for skilled Philippine workers was attributed to the increase of remittance flows, according to the BSP.

Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that job orders reached nearly 619,400 in January-August, more than one third of which intended for services and manufacturing.

Remittances contribute to one tenth of the country’s gross domestic growth (GDP). It plays an important role in supporting domestic consumption and driving tourism, banking, health and other sectors.

With nearly 10 million Filipinos working abroad, the BSP expects the remittances to increase by 5 percent this year from 22.97 billion USD in 2013.-VNA