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Sea-based workers remittances in April up 1.4 %, from $526 million to $533 million

OFW remittances fall to 11-month low
Mayvelin U. Caraballo June 16, 2022

THE amount of money sent home by overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) fell to its lowest level in 11 months in April, according to data released on Wednesday by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Personal remittances, or cash or kind transfers between families, totaled $2.67 billion in the fourth month of 2022, down 7.51 percent from $2.88 billion in March of this year, but up 3.76 percent from $2.57 billion in April 2021. It's the smallest amount sent since $2.65 billion was sent in May last year.

The year-on-year gain in April was attributed to a 4.7-percent increase in remittances from land-based workers on one year or longer contracts, which inched up to $2.02 billion from $2.93 billion a year ago, the central bank noted. Meanwhile, remittances from sea- and land-based workers on short-term contracts saw an uptick of 1.4 percent to $581 million in April 2022, up from $609 million a year earlier.

Total remittances for the first four months of the year totaled $11.31 billion, picking up 2.6 percent from $11.02 billion in January to April 2021, according to the latest numbers. In the meantime, cash remittances were $2.39 billion in April, plunging 7.67 percent from the previous month, but accelerating 3.90 percent from $2.30 billion a year ago.

The BSP said revenues from land-based and sea-based workers soared by 4.7 percent to $1.86 billion from $1.77 billion and 1.4 percent to $533 million from $526 million, respectively, fueling the annual increase in cash remittances in April.

Cash remittances surged by 2.7 percent from January to April 2022 to $10.16 billion, rising from $9.89 billion a year earlier. "The growth in cash remittances from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January-April of 2022," the Bangko Sentral reported.

In the four months ending April this year, the United States had the greatest share of overall remittances, accounting for 41.2 percent. Next were Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Qatar, South Korea and Taiwan. Remittances from these 10 countries accounted for 79.2 percent of all cash remittances for the four-month period.

The BSP forecasts a 4-percent increase in cash remittances this year, citing "projected improvements in global growth prospects and further opening of economies along with the continued mass use of vaccines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are also expected to continue to lend support to the growth prospects for OFW remittances."