OFW remittances surged at start of Q4, says BSP
The amount of dollars sent home by Filipinos abroad continued to rise in October as both land- and sea-based workers remitted more cash to their local beneficiaries, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The central bank said that personal remittances from Filipinos either working or living abroad hit $3 billion in the 10th month of 2019, up 7.7 percent from the $2.8 billion reported in the same period in 2018.
This brought personal remittances in the first 10 months of the year to $27.6 billion, up by 4.3 percent from $26.5 billion during the same period of 2018.The growth in dollar volume being sent home by Filipinos overseas was driven by the growth in remittance inflows from both land- and sea-based workers, the central bank said in its statement.
The bulk was from land-based overseas Filipinos “with work contracts of one year or more,” the BSP said. Remittance from this sector grew to $21.1 billion from $20.3 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 3.8 percent.The BSP data also showed that remittances from overseas workers—which are said to account for an estimated 10 percent of domestic economic activity, especially consumption—grew in every month of this year, except for a 2.7-percent decline in June
Remittance from sea- and land-based workers with short-term contracts also increased to $5.3 billion in 2019 from $4.9 billion in 2018. Likewise, the combined remittances of sea-based and land-based workers with short-term contracts increased by 7.5 percent to $5.9 billion during the period compared to $5.5 billion a year ago.
Meanwhile, cash remittances coursed through banks by Filipino workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 8 percent to $2.7 billion in October 2019 from $2.5 billion in October 2018. This brought the cumulative cash remittances for the Jan-Oct 2019 period to $24.9 billion, higher by 4.6 percent compared to $23.8 billion recorded last year.
By type of worker, cash remittances from land-based and sea-based workers increased by 3.8 percent to $19.4 billion, and 8 percent to $5.4 billion, respectively.
By country source, the US registered the highest share to total remittances during the period January to October 2019 at 37.6 percent. It was followed by Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, United Arab Emirates, the UK, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and Kuwait. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.4 percent of total cash remittances during the period.
As this developed, ING Manila senior economist Nicholas Mapa noted that with global headwinds swirling, “remittance flows from affected areas, with the exception of the UK, have all taken a hit with remittances from Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE all taking a tumble in October.”
“Taken together, remittances from these jurisdictions account for 24 percent of total, weighing heavily on the total amount of foreign exchange sent home,” he said. INQ
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