Personal remittances grow by 2.5% in October 2020

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew by 2.5% year-on-year to US$3.044 billion in October 2020 from US$2.969 billion in October 2019.

The growth was attributed to the increase in remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more to US$2.374 billion in October 2020, 3.3% higher than the US$2.298 billion recorded in October 2019.

Similarly, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year rose slightly by 1.2 percent to US$612 million in October 2020 from US$605 million a year ago. For the first ten months of 2020, personal remittances reached US$27.346 billion from the US$27.612 billion recorded a year ago, bringing the cumulative contraction to 1 percent in October from 1.4 percent in September 2020.

Likewise, OFs’ cash remittances that were coursed through the banks rose by 2.9 percent to US$2.747 billion in October 2020 from US$2.671 billion in October 2019. This increase was due to the growth in remittances from both land-based (US$2.186 billion) and sea-based (US$561.2 million) workers by 3.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

For the period January-October 2020, OFs’ cash remittances amounted to US$24.633 billion, representing a slight decrease of 0.9% from the US$24.858 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 40.2%, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Taiwan.[1] The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.7 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.

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