PERSONAL remittances from overseas Filipinos surged to $2.6 billion in September, 6.3 percent higher from a year ago level, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Tuesday.

For the first nine months to September, the total money sent home by the Filipinos abroad amounted to $22.1 billion, increasing by 4.7 percent than the level recorded in the same period last year, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. said.

"Personal remittances were comprised largely of transfers from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, amounting to $17.2 billion," he said.

Meanwhile, compensation of sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year, excluding their expenditures abroad, aggregated $4.6 billion, Tetangco said.

The official added that cash remittances from Filipinos abroad coursed through banks rose by 6.7 percent year-on-year in September to reach $2.4 billion.

The main sources of cash remittances in September were the United States, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Qatar, Taiwan and Kuwait.

"Remittances from land-based workers increased by 11.9 percent during the month, compensating for the 10.5 percent decline in sea-based workers’ remittances. The declining remittances from sea-based workers may be attributed to stiffer competition in the supply of seafarers," Tetangco said.

A growing number of officers and ratings are recruited from East Asia, particularly China and India, and Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine, Croatia, and Latvia.

From January to September, cash remittances totaled $20.0 billion, a 4.8 percent increase from the comparable level last year. (SDR/Sunnex)