January 29, 2023

Juan Kabayan

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OFW remittances hit $2.93B in Nov

(UPDATE) PERSONAL remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) totaled $2.93 billion in November, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday, improving from $2.77 billion a year earlier but lower compared to the previous month’s $3.28 billion.

“The increase in personal remittances in November 2022 was due to higher remittances sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” the BSP said in a statement.

Of the total, money coursed through banks rose to $2.64 billion, higher than the $2.50 billion registered a year earlier. It was $2.91 billion in October. The year-on-year expansion in cash remittances was said to be due to growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances as of the end of November amounted to $29.38 billion, 3.3 percent higher than the year-ago $28.43 billion. The January-November personal remittances tally rose to $32.65 billion, up by 3.4 percent from $31.59 billion posted in the comparable 2021 period.

Growth in cash remittances from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Qatar were said to have driven the rise in year-to-date remittances.

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By country, the US had the biggest share of overall remittances, at 41.4 percent, primarily because banks course money originally sent from other OFW destinations through it.

Singapore (6.9 percent) and Saudi Arabia (5.8 percent) were the next biggest sources.

Sought for comment, Michael Ricafort, chief economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., said “increased holiday spending in December, with no more Covid restrictions compared to one to two years ago would lead to more OFW remittances sent to the country… “.

He also noted that the continued year-on-year growth could be attributed to the relatively higher inflation “that may have required the sending of more remittances to cope up with higher prices of goods and services for OFWs and their families/dependents in the Philippines.”