BSP: Remittance drop accelerates in May, down by almost a fifth

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 03:51 PM August 03, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Dollars sent to the Philippines by the country’s large expatriate workforce declined by nearly a fifth in May as more Filipinos lost their jobs overseas due to the global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to the central bank.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said personal remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $2.341 billion in May 2020 — 19.2 percent lower than the $2.896 billion recorded in the same period last year.


“This is the third consecutive month that personal remittances posted year-on-year contraction amid the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity, travel and employment, resulting in the repatriation or deferment of employment of many overseas Filipino workers,” the central bank said.

This brought the total remittances for the first five months of 2020 to $12.835 billion, representing a decrease of 6.4 percent from the $13.707 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.


Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to $1.77 billion in May 2020, 21.1 percent lower than $2.244 billion recorded in May 2019.

Similarly, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell by 12.4 percent to $519 million in May 2020 from $592 million a year ago.

Overseas Filipino cash remittances that are coursed through banks dropped by 19.3 percent to $2.106 billion in May 2020 from $2.609 billion in May 2019.

“The decline in cash remittances was due to the negative effects of the continued limited operating hours of some banks and institutions that provide money transfer services during the lockdown and the repatriation of many overseas Filipino workers in March 2020,” the central bank said.

For the January–May 2020 period, cash remittances amounted to $11.554 billion, 6.4 percent lower than the $12.349 billion registered in the comparative period last year. This developed as remittances of both land-based and sea-based workers fell by 7.2 percent to $8.965 billion from $9.664 billion and 3.6 percent to $2.589 billion from $2.684 billion, respectively.

By country source, the United States registered the highest share to total overseas Filipino remittances at 39.4 percent for January–May 2020. It was followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar, and Taiwan.[1] The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances.


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