OFW remittances recover in June
The amount of dollars sent home by expatriate Filipinos rose in June, reversing a downtrend from the three previous months, as job losses from the country’s seafarers were mitigated by an increase in remittances from land-based workers, according to the central bank.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said this reduced the total decline in cash remittances for the first half of 2020 to 4.2 percent from a cumulative contraction of 6.4 percent in May 2020.
“This is due to the 7.6-percent growth of personal remittances from overseas Filipinos in June 2020, which grew to $2.737 billion, up from $2.545 billion in June 2019,” the central bank said. “This trend is a reversal from three consecutive months of decline from their comparable levels last year.”
The growth in June was attributed to the 14.2-percent rise in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more to $2.16 billion in June 2020 from $1.9 billion in June 2019.
Meanwhile, remittances mainly from sea-based workers fell by 13.1 percent from $593 million a year ago to $515 million in June 2020.
Similarly, overseas Filipino cash remittances coursed through banks rose by 7.7 percent to $2.46 billion in June 2020 from $2.29 billion in June 2019, supported mainly by remittances from land-based workers.
“The continued drop in sea-based workers’ remittances was due to the repatriation of many sea-based workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the central bank said.
By type of worker, cash remittances from land-and sea-based workers for the January-June 2020 period underperformed their 2019 levels by 4 percent to $10.96 billion from $11.41 billion, and 5.2 percent to $3.06 billion from $3.23 billion, respectively.
By country source, remittances for the first six months of 2020 from the United States, Japan, Singapore, Oman and Taiwan were among the countries that registered continued growth, while declines were noted in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Germany and United Kingdom.
The highest share to total overseas Filipino remittances for the January–June 2020 period came from the United States at 39.7 percent, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and Taiwan. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.9 percent of total cash remittances.
The central bank pointed to some limitations on the remittance data by source, however, noting that a common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad was to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the United States. INQ
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