• Melo Acuna

BSP notes drop in remittances

Remittances falling due to COVID-19 pandemic

MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported a drop in remittances by at least 16.1 percent from US$2.713 billion in April 2019 to US$2.276 billion in April this year. The BSP said the cumulative remittances for the first four months pf the year reached US$10.494 billion where a slight decrease of 2.9 percent was recorded from the US$10.811 billion for the first four months of 2019.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to US$1.677 billon in April 2020 which was lower than US$2.043 billion recorded in April 2019. Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell by at least 10.2 percent to US$0.547in April this year from US$.609 billion a year ago.

Even cash remittances coursed through banks declined by 16.2 percent to US$2.046 billion in April 2020 compared with the US$2.441 billion in April 2019. The decline, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the decline in cash remittances was due to the unexpected repatriation of some OFs deployed in countries severely affected by the pandemic, the temporary closure or limited operating hours of some banks and institutions from both the sending and receiving ends that provide money transfer services during the lockdown.

From January to April this year, cash remittances amount to US$9.448 billion, was found 3 percent lower than the US$9.739 billion registered in the comparative period last year. The remittances of land-based workers fell by 3.5 percent to US$7.335 billion from US$7.597 billion while remittances from sea-based workers, dropped y 1.3 percent to US$2114 billion from US$2.142 billion.

The BSP said the United States registered the highest share to overseas Filipinos remittances at 39.6 percent for January-April 2020. It was followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Korea. The combined remittances from these countries accounted to 79.1 percent of the total cash remittances. (Melo M. Acuña)

Relatives of overseas Filipinos queue at a foreign currency dealer. This is a common sight in the Philippines as workers abroad sent regular remittances on monthly basis. However, with COVID-19, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas noticed a drop in remittances. (Melo M. Acuna)

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