Remittances sent home by OFWs hit a new high in 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA)
– Remittances sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hit a new high in 2015 with 28.5 billion USD as of the end of December, according to the Central Bank of the Philippines (BSP).

The figure represented a 4.4 percent increase year-on-year, up from the 4 percent forecast of the bank.

Cash remittances through banks totalled 25.76 billion USD, up 4.6 percent from previous year.

In December alone, personal remittances totalled 2.7 billion USD, rising 4.9 percent against the same month in 2014. BSP said that this has been the highest monthly amount ever.

According to BSP Govenor Amando Tetangco, remittances continued to be a “major driver of domestic demand”.

The total remittances accounted for 9.8 percent of the nation’s gross domestic products (GDP) and 8.1 percent of gross national income (GNI).

Cash remittances from land-based OFWs amounted to 20 billion USD while sea-based workers sent back home 5.8 billion USD.

The BSP said that deployment of skilled OFWs remained a key factor to the growth in remittance inflows.

Preliminary statistics from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed that the number of OFWs reached 1.8 million in 2015. Last year, the POEA approved over 835,200 job orders, of which 45 percent were intended for service, production and professional, technical and related positions in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan (China) and Hong Kong (China).-VNA