Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached a record high of 25.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, 7.6 percent higher than previous year's level, the local central bank said Monday. The Philippine central bank said remittances in the month of December alone amounted to 2.4 billion U.S. dollars, up 12.5 percent compared to remittances recorded in December 2012. "Remittances in December marks the ninth consecutive month in 2013 that personal remittances breached the 2 billion U.S. dollars level," the central bank said in a statement Cash remittances coursed through banks grew by 6.4 percent on year to 22.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, exceeding the Philippine central bank's projection of a 5-percent hike for the year. Major sources of cash remittances last year were the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Canada, and Japan. The central bank said the robust growth of remittances last year was due to the strong demand for skilled Filipino manpower abroad, particularly in the Middle East. Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that 1.8 million OFWs were deployed last year. The central bank said cash remittances supported local economic activity. It accounted for 8.4 percent of Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013.