CASH sent home by Filipino migrant workers sustained its growth in August this year as developed economies continued to recover during the period.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday that cash remittances sent by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) back home hit $2.609 billion in August, up 5.1 percent from its level in the same month last year.
Broken down, the growth in cash remittances was due to the increase in remittances from land-based workers, which rose by 4.1 percent to $2.032 billion from $1.952 billion; and sea-based workers, which rose by 8.6 percent to $577 million from $531 million.
The August remittance value to the country pushed the eight-month total to $20.38 billion, 5.7 percent higher than the $19.285 billion seen in the same January-to-August period in 2020.
According to the BSP, the growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Malaysia, and South Korea contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January to August 2021.
In terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 40.7 percent in the first eight months of 2021, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar, and Taiwan.
The combined remittances from these top 10 countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) economist Michael Ricafort projects that remittances will sustain the increase in the coming months as developed economies continue to enable OFWs to work again, while jobs lost by some adversely affected OFWs will be restored.
“Going forward, any further recovery in OFW remittances in the coming months would also largely be a function of the further recovery of the economies of the major host countries around the world from Covid-19 lockdowns,” Ricafort said.