Saudi Arabia has been the biggest source of Gulf remittances to the Philippines, according to the latest data released on Friday.

Money sent home by Filipinos working and living in the kingdom in January 2024 accounted for 6% of total fund transfers to the Asian state, or around $189 million – the highest in the Gulf and third highest globally, the Philippine central bank data showed.

Remittances from the UAE accounted for 3.3% of total fund transfers during the month, the second highest in the GCC region, followed by Qatar (2.7%).

Overall, Filipinos working and living overseas transferred a total of $3.15 billion in January 2024, rising by 2.7% from a year earlier.

The US had the highest share of overall remittances during the period, accounting for 41.8%. Singapore came second at 7.3%.

Cash remittances coursed through banks amounted to $2.84 billion, up by 2.7% from the $2.76 billion recorded in the same month last year.

The country’s central bank said that the increase in money flows from the United States, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Singapore contributed mainly to the increase in fund transfers at the beginning of the year.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)