Remittances in the Philippines in April stood at 2 billion USD, climbing 5.1 percent from the same month last year.

The rise in remittances was supported by steady overseas demands for skilled Filipino labourers, the central bank of the Philippines (BSP) said, adding that the expansion of banks and non-banks’ remittance services has made contributions to the surge of remittances from overseas workers.

However, the growth showed a plunge compared to the 11.3 percent rise in March.

In the four months to April, cash transfers stood at 7.807 billion USD, rising 5.4 percent from the same period last year. Of the total cash remittances, 5.9 billion USD was sent by land-based workers while the remaining was transferred by sea-based workers.

The BSP said that the funds were mainly sent from the US, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the UK, Singapore, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong (China ).

According to statistics from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), there were 310,727 Filipinos working in foreign countries, nearly 40 percent of them worked in service, production and technical sectors in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Taiwan (China) and Qatar.

Last year, the country saw a record nearly 24.35 billion USD of remittances, up 5.8 percent from previous year and accounting for 8.5 percent of the nation’s gross domestic products (GDP).

The BSP forecast that cash remittances will swell by 5 percent over 2014’s level to reach 25.6 billion USD this year.-VNA