An employee counts U.S. dollar bills before changing it to Philippine Pesos inside a money changer in Manila September 19, 2013. The Philippine central bank said remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have allowed households to save money, boosting the country’s savings rate.(MNS Photo)

An employee counts U.S. dollar bills before changing it to Philippine Pesos inside a money changer in Manila September 19, 2013. The Philippine central bank said remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have allowed households to save money, boosting the country’s savings rate.(MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Cash sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) climbed by a sixth in August.

In a report, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said cash remittances grew by 6 percent to $2.1 billion last August from $1.9 billion in the same month last year.

This brought the eight-month tally to $15.5 billion this year from $14.7 billion in 2013.

Including in-kind transfers, OFWs sent home $2.2 billion last August, slightly more than the $2.1 billion in the same month last year.

For the first eight months of this year, personal remittances climbed 6.5 percent to $17.2 billion from $16.1 billion in 2013.

The BSP ascribed the growth in remittances to transfers by both land- and sea-based OFWs, as the Philippines continued to enjoy strong demand abroad for its skilled labor.

Citing data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), the BSP said jobs orders reached 619,388 in the first eight months of this year, with more than a third of those meant for production, service and technical work in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Qatar and Kuwait.

Remittances help fuel domestic consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the Philippine economy. (MNS)