Decline in OFW remittance from Saudi, Qatar trips dollar flow

Published by rudy Date posted on August 15, 2019

By: Daxim L. Lucas, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Aug 15, 2019

Dollars sent home to the Philippines by the country’s estimated 10 million workers overseas — including an estimated 5 million Filipinos working with short- and long-term work contracts abroad — declined slightly in June, mimicking the weak performance of remittances in the same period last year.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers in June alone posted a 2.9-percent decrease to $2.3 billion in 2019 from $2.4 billion compared to the same month in 2018.

“This was attributed to the 5.4 percent year-on-year drop in cash remittances from
land-based workers, which was mitigated by the 6.3 percent increase in transfers from sea-based workers,” the central bank said.

The weakening of remittance was traced to Saudi Arabia and Qatar as of June 2019.

Remittances from elsewhere, however, continued to rise although at a muted pace.

BSP data showed that personal remittances reach $16.3 billion in the first half of 2019, representing a 2.9 percent growth, from the $15.8 billion in the same period in 2018.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with contracts of one year or more grew by 1.8 percent to $12.4 billion in the first half of 2019 from $12.2 billion in the first half of 2018.

Personal remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with short-term contracts increased by 8.8 percent to $3.5 billion in the first semester of 2019 from $3.2 billion in 2018.

On a monthly basis, however, personal remittances in June 2019 fell slightly by 2.7 percent to $2.5 billion from $2.6 billion in 2018.

For January to June 2019, cash remittances from overseas Filipinos made through banks grew 3.2 percent to $14.6 billion from $14.2 billion in the same period in 2018.

Cash remittances by land-based workers were up by 1.8 percent year-on-year to $11.4 billion
and transfers from sea-based workers grew by 8.7 percent to $3.2 billion.

By country source, the United States was the biggest origin of overall remittances from January to June 2019. At least 36.4 percent of all remittances came from the US. Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, UK, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Germany and Qatar followed.

The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78 percent of total cash remittances from January to June 2019./TSB

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