Major Source of Remittances: The Americas and the Middle East
According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, bulk of the remittances sent to Philippines in January 2015 came from countries in the Americas and the Middle East. A huge portion of the remittances—more than 70 percent—were sent by land-based workers. Of the total cash remittances of $1.8 billion, almost 50 percent came from countries in the Americas, particularly the United States. Filipinos working in the United States sent a total of $818,286,000 in the first month of the year. Remittances sent from the Middle East in January amounted to $377,471,000.
The United Kingdom, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, and Germany were also leading sources of cash remittances to the Philippines. Cash remittances from Asian countries added up to $250,364,000. Remittances sent from European countries amounted to $268,225,000. Meanwhile, remittances from countries in the Oceania region, such as Australia and New Zealand, equaled to $39,102,000. The lowest amount of cash remittances came from countries in Africa, amounting only to $2,679,000.
According to a survey conducted by the National Statistics Office in 2013, an average of 2.3 million Filipinos are working in foreign countries. More than 80 percent of the Filipinos working abroad are sending remittances to their families in the Philippines. Majority of these remittances were spent on food and household needs. A large portion of cash remittances sent to the Philippines were also allotted to education, medical expenses, and debt payments.