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October 07, 2022

OFW remittances hit 11-month low in April

The amount of money sent home by Filipino expats abroad grew at its fastest pace in five months but booked its lowest level in 11 months for April, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Data released by the central bank showed personal remittances went up by 3.8 percent in April, the fastest since the 4.8 percent recorded last November.

In terms of volume, personal remittances amounted to $2.67 billion in April from $2.57 billion in the same month last year. This was the smallest in 11 months or since the $2.62 billion in May last year.

According to the BSP, the increase in personal remittances in April was due to 4.7 percent rise in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more to $2.02 billion from $1.93 billion as well as the 1.4 percent increase in remittances from sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year to $581 million from $574 million.

This resulted in cumulative personal remittances rising by 2.6 percent in the first four months to $11.32 billion from $11.03 billion registered in the same period last year.

Likewise, cash remittances coursed through banks went up by 3.9 percent in April, the fastest since the 5.1 percent increase registered last November.

Cash remittances reached $2.39 billion in April from $2.3 billion in the same month last year, the smallest since the $2.38 billion recorded in May last year.

The central bank said the expansion in cash remittances was due to the 4.7 percent growth in receipts from land-based workers to $1.86 billion from $1.78 billion as well as the 1.4 percent rise in remittances from sea-based OFWs to $533 million from $526 million.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances grew by 2.7 percent to $10.17 billion from $9.9 billion registered in the comparable period last year.

The growth in cash remittances from the US, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January to April this year.

Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 41.2 percent in the first four months, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, South Korea, and Taiwan.

The BSP sees OFW remittances growing by four percent this year with the continued reopening of the economies in host countries from strict COVID-19 lockdowns.

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