April OFW remittances rise to $2.2B
MANILA, Philippines – Remittances of Filipinos working abroad rose beyond the $2-billion mark it breached in March to $2.2-billion in April 2015, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said Monday, June 15.
Remittances in March hit $2.08-billion, recovering from January’s $1.99 billion and February’s $2 billion.
On a cumulative basis, personal remittances for the first 4 months of 2015 totaled $8.6 billion, 5.1% higher than the level recorded in the same period in 2014, BSP Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. announced.
According to the World Bank, the Philippines is the world's third-largest recipient of remittances after China and India. Remittances from Asia though declined on a year-on-year basis for 3 consecutive months, and the global outlook is not encouraging either, the World Bank Migration and Development Brief in April showed.
Migrants’ remittances to developing countries are estimated to reach $436 billion in 2014 or a 4.4% increase over the 2013 level. But the 2015 growth of remittance flows to developing countries is expected to moderate to 0.9% to $44 billion.
Citigroup in February also warned of the weakness in "third currencies," such as the Japanese yen, Australian dollar or euro that could restrain future remittance growth.
Since prospects for Japanese yen, euro, and other third currencies are expected to weaken substantially against the US dollar by more than the Philippine peso, a portion of remittances, particularly from OFW earnings in non-US dollar currencies, faces material downside risk, said Jun Trinidad, a Citigroup economist.
Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) make up nearly 10% of Philippine gross domestic product (GDP). It hit an all-time high of $26.9 billion in December 2014.
Bulk of inflows
The bulk of inflows, or 74%, from January to April 2015 consisted of remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and which amounted to $6.4 billion.
About 24% of personal remittances came from sea-based and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year reached $2.1 billion, while nearly 2% were other household-to-household transfers such as those from migrants sending money to their relatives in the Philippines reached $0.2 billion.
Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks rose by 5.1% year-on-year to $2 billion in April 2015.
This brought cash remittances for January-April 2015 to $7.8 billion, higher by 5.4% compared to the level posted in the same period in 2014.
Cash remittances from land-based ($5.9 billion) and sea-based ($1.9 billion) workers increased by 5.3% and 5.6%, respectively.
United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Canada, are the major sources of cash remittances.
BSP acknowledged the efforts of the bank and non-bank remittance service providers to expand their international and domestic market coverage and introduce innovations in financial products and services in the remittance market that sustained inflow of remittances
Demand for skilled Filipino manpower overseas remains steady.
Preliminary data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that of the total approved 310,727 job orders for January-April 2015, 33.8% were processed job orders that were intended mainly for service, production, and professional, technical, and related workers in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. – Rappler.com
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