Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star )
Remittances from overseas Filipino workers continued to grow in November 2020 although at a slower pace compared to previous months, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported yesterday.
According to the latest data from the BSP, personal remittances rose by just 0.1 percent to $2.643 billion in November last year from $2.639 billion in the same month in 2019.
This was the slowest growth in remittances since August last year.
The November figure brought the cumulative remittances to $29.99 billion from January to November 2020, 0.9 percent lower than the $30.25 billion recorded in 2019.
“This is proof that remittances continue to be robust, and thanks to our overseas Filipinos who, because of their altruistic motive, continue to send remittance to their families back home knowing that we have problems,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said during a virtual press briefing.
“This again is a departure from the projections by many analysts that our remittances from overseas Filipino will contract or will go down by at least 20 percent. The decline is only 0.9 percent from January to November, so that’s good news,” he said.
According to the BSP, the moderate growth in personal remittances last November could be attributed to the increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more. During the month, these overseas Filipinos remitted $2.01 billion, 0.5 percent up from $2 billion in the previous year.
This outpaced the 0.3 percent drop in the remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year, which amounted to $575 million compared to $577 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the BSP said cash remittances that were coursed through banks also increased slightly by 0.3 percent to $2.38 billion in November last year from $2.37 billion in the same month in 2019.
“In particular, cash remittances from land-based workers rose by 0.5 percent to $1.852 billion, while that of sea-based workers declined by 0.2 percent to $527.3 million,” the BSP said.
From January to November 2020, cash remittances amounted to $27.01 billion, down by just 0.8 percent from the $27.23 billion recorded in the previous year.
The BSP said the US posted the highest share of total remittances at 40.1 percent, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Korea. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.6 percent of the total cash remittances.