OFW remittances inched up 4% to $3.15B in September

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BOON FOR OFWS A customer exchanges US dollars for Philippine pesos. Remittances continued to increase in September. —FILE PHOTO

Personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) reached $3.15 billion in September, rising by 4 percent from the $3.03 billion posted in the same month last year, helping shore up the country’s foreign exchange reserves and stabilize the peso against the US dollar.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) released on Tuesday showed the September number was the second highest monthly collection this year, exceeded only by remittances in July, which reached $3.24 billion.

The September posting further indicates that cumulative remittances during the first nine months rose by 3.1 percent, growing to $26.49 billion from $25.70 billion in the same period in 2021.

Land-based workers

“The increase in personal remittances in September 2022 was due to remittances sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” the BSP said.

Additionally, data from the central bank showed that cash remittances coursed through banks grew during the same month by 3.8 percent, reaching $2.84 billion compared to the $2.74 billion recorded in the same month last year.

On a year-to-date basis, these cash remittances amounted to $23.83 billion, which is higher by 3.1 percent compared to the $23.12 billion sent home during the same nine-month period last year.

United States

Remittances made by OFWs from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Qatar contributed the most to the pile during the first three quarters of this year.

In terms of source by country, the United States posted the highest share of overall remittances during the three quarters, making up 41.7 percent of the total.

Singapore was a far second with 6.9 percent share followed by Saudi Arabia with 5.9 percent.

Last year, OFW remittances hit a record $34.88 billion, the highest in at least seven years, and made a comeback from the mild decline to $33.19 billion in 2020.

OFW remittances have been growing steadily annually over the last several years, reaching $28.31 billion in 2015, $29.71 billion in 2016, $31.29 billion in 2017, $32.21 billion in 2018, and $33.47 billion in 2019.

The BSP expects the growth in personal remittances to stabilize at 4 percent this year and in 2023. INQ

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