MONEY sent by Filipino migrant workers continued to grow in the first month of the year, amid global surges of Covid-19 cases during the period, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.
Latest data released by the Central Bank showed a 2.5-percent growth on the cash remittances sent by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in January this year, with the month’s total cash transfers amounting to $2.67 billion.
January’s cash remittance level is higher than the $2.603 billion seen in January of 2021. It is also higher than the pre-pandemic level of $2.65 billion in January 2020.
Broken down, the BSP traced the expansion in cash remittances to the increase in receipts from land-based and sea-based workers, which rose by 2.9 percent (to $2.103 billion from $2.044 billion) and 1.2 percent (to $565 million from $558 million), respectively.
The growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Japan and Singapore contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January 2022.
Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 41.2 percent in January, followed by Singapore, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar and Malaysia.
The combined remittances from these top 10 countries accounted for 79.6 percent of total cash remittances during the period.
Earlier this year, several economists expressed their views that remittances will continue to rise in 2022 as major economies continue to open and normalize after the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort, for example, said sustained inflow of remittances during the year is expected to support the country’s Balance of Payments position and gross international reserves.
International credit watcher Fitch Rating, in its latest affirmation of the country’s credit rating, also counted resilient remittances among the factors that will boost the Philippine economy’s recovery for the year.