Philippine economy

OFW remittances fall in August 2020 as pandemic wipes out jobs worldwide

Ralf Rivas
Pent-up remittance flows fade in August, with more overseas Filipino workers forced to return home following job cuts

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) reverted to a contraction in August after a two-month bounce, as labor market conditions abroad weakened amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dollars sent by OFs fell by 4.2% to $2.756 billion from the $2.875 billion in the same month last year, latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

This brings the cumulative remittances for the first 8 months of 2020 to $21.41 billion, 2.6% lower than the $21.995 billion in the same period last year. (READ: OFW tales: How some repatriated Filipinos are faring back home)

Nicholas Mapa, ING Bank Manila senior economist, said remittances went up in June and July as large-scale repatriations during the period resulted in OFs sending home lifetime savings through formal channels prior to their return.

“By August, pent-up flows finally faded with Filipinos facing challenging labor markets abroad while the stock of OFs declined significantly, resulting in the contraction,” Mapa said.

By country source, the decline in remittances in August was noted from Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates. These were partly offset by remittance growth from the United States, Singapore, and Malaysia. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.