OFW remittances down 5.4% in July

OFW remittances down 5.4% in July
Despite the July drop, personal remittances from overseas Filipino workers are up 2.9% for 2016, so far

MANILA, Philippines – Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) dropped in July as low global oil prices and a sluggish global economy took their toll on OFW deployment overseas.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Thursday, September 15, showed that personal remittances from OFWs hit $2.355 billion in July, a drop of 5.4% from the $2.490 billion seen in the same month last year.

Despite July’s drop, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr noted that OFWs’ personal remittances have grown by 2.9% this year, so far, hitting $16.9 billion.

Remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more amounted to $13.1 billion, while sea-based workers and those on short-term contracts – excluding their expenditures abroad – totaled $3.6 billion.

Remittances have been up in every month of 2016 except for July and March which saw a decline of 1.4%.

Cash remittances

Meanwhile, cash remittances or remittances formally channeled through banks also fell by 5.4% in July, with a total of $2.131 billion.

Remittances from land-based workers brought in $12.1 billion while sea-based workers were responsible for $3.3 billion.

About 80% of the remittances came from the United States, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Hong Kong, and Germany.

Tetangco said cash remittances amounted to $15.32 billion from January to July this year – $449 million higher than the $14.87 billion recorded in the same period last year – for a gain of 3%.

“Remittance inflows for the first 7 months of 2016 remained stable despite the decline in deployment of skilled Filipino workers,” he added in a statement.

Latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) showed the number of new hires for land-based workers dropped 10.3% to 235,895 while that of sea-based workers plunged 44.4% to 134,360.

The BSP expects OFW cash remittances to grow by 4% this year. – Rappler.com

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