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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

COVID-19, OFW repatriation impact on remittances

January to May remittances down by 6.4% to US$12.8 billion

MANILA – Filipinos overseas sent US$2.341 billion last May 2020 which was 19.2 percent lower than the US$2.896 billion recorded in May 2019.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, this is the third consecutive month that personal remittances posed year-on-year contraction with the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on worldwide economic activity, travel and employment which resulted in the repatriation of thousands of overseas Filipinos.

Remittances for the first five months of the yar amounted to US$12.835 billion, which showed a decrease of 6.4 percent from the US$13.707 billion from January to May of 2019.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to US$1.77 billion in May 2020 which is 21.1 percent lower than the US$2.244 billion recorded in May 2019.

In a statement, the BSP said remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with contracts of less than one year fell by 12.4 percent to US$519 million in May 2020 from US$592 million a year ago.

Overseas Filipinos’ remittances coursed through banks dropped buy 19.3 percent to US$2.106 billion in May 2020 from US$2.609 billion in May 2019. The decline in cash remittances was traced to the negative effects of the continued limited operating hours of some banks and institutions that extend money transfer services during the lockdown and the repatriation of many OFWs in March this year.

From January – May 2020, cash remittances amounted to US$11.554 billion which was 6.4 percent lower than the US12.349 billion in the comparative period last year.

Remittances fell from both land-based (7.2 percent to US$8.965 billion from US$9.664 billion) and sea-based (3.6 percent to US$2.589 billion from US$2,684 billion).

Remittances from the United States of America registered the highest share of Overseas Filipinos remittances at 39.4 percent for January-May 2020. Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar and Taiwan. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances. (Melo M. Acuña)

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