Remittance levels in June highest for 2021


FILIPINO migrant workers continued to send more money back home in June, sustaining the strong growth of remittances entering the country during the month.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Monday that remittances that coursed through banks in June reached $2.64 billion. This is the highest monthly value of remittances to the country for the entire 2021.

This is also a 7-percent growth from the $2.465 billion level of remittances in June last year.

Broken down, the BSP said cash remittances expanded following the increase in receipts from land-based workers by 7.1 percent to $2.136 billion from $1.994 billion in the previous year and sea-based workers by 6.5 percent to $502 million from $472 million in 2020.

The strong remittance performance in June brought the six-month total to $14.92 billion, 6.4 percent higher than the $14.02 billion remittance level in the January-to-June period of 2020.

According to the BSP, the growth in cash remittances in January to June this year came largely from the United States (US), Malaysia and South Korea.

Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 40.1 percent in the first six months of 2021, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar and Taiwan.

The combined remittances from these top 10 countries accounted for 78.4 percent of total cash remittances.

Remittances to the country first fell into contraction territory in April last year due to the global economic disruption caused by the pandemic. It slowly recovered throughout the year and climbed back to the growth territory starting February this year. This, despite the fact that many OFWs in countries around the world were impacted by the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Fitch Solutions —the think tank arm of Fitch Group—said remittances to the country are expected to be steady throughout the year and give support to the economy.

“Remittances will crucially provide some upside to the current account balance over the coming years, with greater external demand for health-care workers and carers due to aging populations and still high migration from the Philippines as a result of high domestic unemployment rates,” Fitch Solutions said.

Image courtesy of Nonie Reyes

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