Dollar remittances up for 2nd straight month
MANILA, Philippines — Expatriate Filipinos sent home more dollars in March as deployment of workers increased with the easing of travel restrictions, according to the central bank.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said personal remittances from the country’s overseas citizens amounted to $2.801 billion in March 2021, which was higher by 5.6 percent than the $2.652 billion recorded in the same month last year.
“This is the second consecutive month that remittances were higher than last year’s levels, reflecting the easing of travel restrictions, reopening of borders to foreign workers, and progress in COVID-19 vaccine rollout in many advanced countries,” the BSP said.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more grew 5 percent to $2.115 billion from $2.014 billion in March 2020, while remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 4.5 percent to $617 million in March 2021 from $591 million a year ago. On a cumulative basis, remittances for the first quarter of the year reached $8.454 billion, representing a 2.9-percent growth year-on-year from $8.218 billion a year ago.
Likewise, cash remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coursed through banks rose by 4.9 percent to $2.514 billion in March 2021 from $2.397 billion a year ago.
In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers increased by 5 percent to $1.948 billion, while those from sea-based workers rose by 4.5 percent to $566 million.
For the first three months of 2021, cash remittances amounted to $7.593 billion, an increase of 2.6 percent from $7.403 billion in the same period last year.
In terms of country sources, the United States registered the highest share of overall remittances at 40.8 percent for the first three months, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The combined remittances from these 10 countries accounted for 78.2 percent of the total.
The central bank said there were limitations in the remittance data by source, since a common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, mostly in the United States. INQ
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