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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Foreign remittances rise in Q1

Personal remittances up by 5.6% to US$2.8 billion in March; Q1 remittances reach US$8.5 billion, up by 2.9%

MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas today reported personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US%2.801 billion last March 2021 which was higher by 5.6% than the US$2.652 billion recorded in March 2020.

In a statement, the BSP said this is the second consecutive month that remittances were higher than last year’s level which reflected the easing of travel restrictions, re-opening of borders to foreign workers, and progress in COID-19 vaccine roll-out in many advanced countries.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more increased by 5 percent to US$2.115 billion from the US$2.014 billion recorded in March 2020, while remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 4.5 percent to US$617 million in March 2021 from US$591 million a year ago.

The BSP said on a cumulative basis, remittances for the first quarter of the year amounted to US$8.454 billion, representing a 2.9 percent growth, year-on-year from the US$8.218 billion recorded in the same period last year.

Likewise, cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks rose by 4,9 percent to US$2.514 billion in March 2021 from US$2.397 billion a year ago. Cash remittances from land-based workers increased by 5.0 percent to US$1.948 billion, while those from sea-based workers rose by 4.5 percent to US$566 million.

For the first three months of the year, cash remittances amounted to US$7.593 billion with a noticeable increase of 2.6 percent compare to the US$7.403 billion level in the same period last year.

The growth in remittances from January to March 2021 came largely from the United States (US), Malaysia, and Singapore. In terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share to overall remittances at 40,8 percent for Q1, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, Taiwan and Malaysia. The combined remittances from these top then countries accounted for 78.2 percent of the total remittances.

Last year, foreign remittances reached US$33.2 billion. The BSP said the remittances was 9.2 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product and 8.5 percent of the country Gross National Income (GNI). (Melo M. Acuña)

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