Expat Filipino workers sent home more dollars in May
MANILA, Philippines – Dollars sent home by expatriate Filipinos rose in May thanks to strong remittances from overseas workers with long term employment contracts, maintaining the slow but steady growth path that began last year, the latest central bank showed.
In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said personal remittances from Filipinos working or based abroad increased by 5.5 percent year-on-year to $2.9 billion in May 2019 from $2.7 billion during the same month last year.
This brought the total remittances for the first five months of 2019 to $13.7 billion, higher by 4.1 percent compared to the $13.2 billion posted in the same period last year, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said.
“The steady growth in personal remittances during the first five months of 2019 drew support from the remittance inflows from land-based overseas Filipino workers with work contracts of one year or more, which aggregated to $10.5 billion from $10.2 billion in the same period last year,” he said.
Inflows from the compensation of sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts also contributed to this growth and totaled $2.9 billion from $2.7 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, cash remittances from abroad coursed through banks — which counts only wages sent home by expatriate workers, and excludes funds sent home by non-OFW Filipinos — in May 2019 amounted to $2.6 billion, up by 5.7 percent year-on-year from the $2.5 billion recorded in the same period last year.
This brought cash remittances for the Jan-May period to $12.3 billion, 4.5 percent higher than the $11.8 billion recorded in the same period last year. In particular, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 3.2 percent at $9.7 billion and 9.2 percent at $2.7 billion, respectively, during the first five months of 2019.
By country source, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances for the first five months of the year at 36 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and Kuwait. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78 percent of total cash remittances from January to May 2019.
The central bank pointed out that it was common for remittance centers to course dollars sent home by Filipinos in various cities abroad through US-based correspondent banks. As such, the US would often appear to be the main source of overseas remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source./ac
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