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Remittances from 4 areas boost 10-month total by $2.1 billion

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CASH remittances sent by Filipinos abroad through October rose by an annualized rate of 3.1 percent to $26.74 billion, latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data showed.

The Central Bank said the total amount of cash remittances during the 10-month period was $2.103 billion higher than the $24.633 billion recorded amount a year ago.

“The growth in cash remittances from the United States [US], Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Qatar contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January-October 2022,” it said in a statement on Thursday.

The BSP said the US posted the highest share of overall remittances during the reference period, followed by Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Despite the Philippine peso further weakening against the US dollar in October, Executive Director Jeremaiah Opiniano of the Institute for Migration and Development Issues told the BusinessMirror that the growth rate of the monthly cumulative remittances was stagnant at 3.1 percent.

Total cash remittances during the January to September period was also at 3.1 percent on an annual basis.

Opiniano explained that this could indicate that Overseas Filipinos’ (OFs) remittances were affected by the acceleration of the prices of goods in their respective host countries.

“It may mean that the inflation rates in migrants’ host countries may have affected their daily spending and their remittance allotments. This is not to mention that their families here at home also feel the brunt of rising prices of commodities,” he said.

The Philippine peso fell to its lowest level in October at an average exchange rate against the US dollar of P58.825. In September, the average Philippine peso-US dollar exchange rate was at P57.4338, based on historical BSP data.

The BSP data also showed personal remittances from OFs reached $3.23 billion in October, higher by 3.5 percent than the $3.12 billion posted in the same month last year.

This resulted in the cumulative personal remittances rising by 3.1 percent to $29.72 billion during the January-to-October period from $28.82 billion registered in the comparable period in 2021.

“The increase in personal remittances in October 2022 was due to higher remittances sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” the BSP said. 

Image credits: Andrii Zastrozhnov | Dreamstime.com

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