Philippines’ Personal Remittances Rise by 0.1 Percent

Press Release from BSP
Personal Remittances Rise by 0.1 Percent in November 2020; Cumulative Contraction Further Narrows to 0.9 Percent

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew slightly by 0.1 percent year-on-year to US$2.643 billion in November 2020 from US$2.639 billion in November 2019. The moderate growth was attributed to the 0.5 percent increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more to US$2.01 billion from US$2.001 billion recorded in November 2019. Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell slightly by 0.3 percent to US$575 million in November 2020 from US$577 million a year ago. For the first eleven months of 2020, personal remittances reached US$29.988 billion from the US$30.252 billion recorded a year ago, bringing the cumulative contraction to 0.9 percent in November from 1.0 percent in October 2020.

OFs’ cash remittances that were coursed through the banks also rose slightly by 0.3 percent to US$2.379 billion in November 2020 from US$2.372 billion in November 2019. In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 0.5 percent to US$1.852 billion, while that of sea-based workers declined by 0.2 percent to US$527.3 million.

For the period January-November 2020, OFs’ cash remittances amounted to US$27.013 billion, representing a decrease of 0.8 percent from the US$27.231 billion registered in the comparative period last year. By country source, cash remittances from Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, and Kuwait declined, while those from the United States (US), Singapore, Qatar, Oman, Hong Kong, and Taiwan increased. The US posted the highest share of the total remittances at 40.1 percent, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Korea.[1] The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.6 percent of the total cash remittances.

[1] There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also, remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.