Personal remittances rise by 1.5 percent with US$8.2 billion in Q1
MANILA – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported an increase of personal remittances from overseas Filipinos which amounted to US$2.652 billion in March 2020 which was found lower by 5.2 percent than the US$2.796 billion recorded in March 2019.
However, the total remittances for the first quarter of 2020 amounted to US$8.218 billion which is 1.5 percent higher compare to the US$8.098 billion posted in the same period last year.
The BSP said in its statement that land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to US$2.014 billion in March 2020, 6.7 percent lower than the US$2.157 billion in March 2019. Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose by 2.7 percent to US$0.591 billion from US$0.575 billion from a year ago.
Cash remittances coursed through banks declined by 4.7 percent to US$2.397 billion in March 2020 from US$2.514 billion in March 2019. The decline in cash remittances in March was largely due to the lesser number of Filipinos deployed overseas in the first three months of 2020 compared to the level attained last year. The countries that registered the declines in cash remittances in March were mostly oil producing countries, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait where demand for workers were affected by depressed oil price in the world market.
Cash remittances for the first quarter of 2020 managed to post a modest increase of 1.4 percent to US$7.403 billion from US$7.299 billion registered in the same period last year. The BSP said the slight growth for the quarter was supported remittances from both land-based (US$5.79 billion) with an increase of 1.3 percent and sea-based (US$1.613 billion) workers where an increase of 1.8 percent was reported.
The United States registered the highest share to overall remittances at 39 percent in March 2020 and followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Canada, Hong Kong and Korea. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 79.1 percent of total cash remittances. (Melo M. Acuña)