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Remittances fall 6.4% in January-May 2020 as pandemic displaces OFWs

Filipinos abroad sent less dollars back home, as the global economy sunk into recession amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed personal remittances from overseas Filipinos fell to $2.34 billion in May, 19.2% lower than the $2.9 billion recorded in the same month last year.

“This is the 3rd consecutive month that personal remittances posted year-on-year contraction amid the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity, travel, and employment, resulting in the repatriation or deferment of employment of many OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” the BSP said.

Total remittances for the first 5 months of 2020 stood at $12.84 billion, a decrease of 6.4% from the $13.77 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019. (READ: World Bank warns remittance payments to plunge amid pandemic)

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to $1.77 billion in May 2020, 21.1% lower than $2.244 billion recorded a year ago.

Rremittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell by 12.4% to $519 million in May from $592 million a year ago.

By country source, the United States registered the highest share at 39.4% for January to May, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Taiwan. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

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

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