BSP: Expat remittances push dollar flow past pre-COVID levels
MANILA, Philippines—Dollars sent home by expatriate Filipinos surged last April, pushing the total for the first four months of 2021 above those in comparable periods before the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in 2020, according to the Philippine central bank.
In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that personal remittances from overseas citizens amounted to $2.574 billion in April 2021, higher by 13.1 percent than the $2.276 billion recorded in April 2020.
This brings the cumulative personal remittances for the first four months of 2021 to $11.028 billion, representing a 5.1 percent growth year-on year from the $10.494 billion posted in the comparable period in 2020.
This is also higher than the $10.811 billion reported in the same period in 2019.
In particular, personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more rose by 15.2 percent during the month of April to $1.931 billion from the $1.677 billion recorded in April 2020.
Remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year also increased by 4.9 percent to $574 million from $547 million in 2020.
Likewise, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose by 12.7 percent to $2.305 billion in April 2021 from $2.046 billion in the same month in 2020.
Cash remittances expanded, following the increase in receipts from land-based workers by 15.2 percent to $1.779 billion from $1.545 billion and sea-based workers by 4.9 percent to $526 million from US$501 million.
On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances for January-April 2021 reached $9.898 billion, higher by 4.8 percent than the year-ago level of $9.448 billion.
The growth in cash remittances for January-April 2021came largely from the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
In terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 40.3 percent for the first four months, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar and Taiwan.
Combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.1 percent of total cash remittances.
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