The remittances sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached a record high of US$31.1 billion last year. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the Philippines’ central bank, said the value of remittances was 5.3% higher than in 2016, SunStar reported.

“The growth in overseas Filipinos’ remittances continued to provide support to the country’s economy as a major driver of domestic demand,” the BSP said.

Remittances from Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Germany, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, the US and the UK comprised 80.1% of the total.

“Cash remittances in 2017 remained resilient. Remittances from the Middle East increased by 3.4%, driven by growth in remittances from the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain. Overseas Filipinos’ remittances from Singapore, Japan and Taiwan rose by 7.3%,” the BSP said.