Remittance inflows from overseas Filipinos continued to decline in February to mark the lowest level in nine months, albeit still higher than the same month last year, data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday showed.
Cash remittances or money transfers coursed through banks or formal channels stood at $2.569 billion, down from $2.762 billion recorded in January and the lowest since the $2.455 billion in May 2022.
This is, however, 2.4% higher than the $2.509 billion in February 2022 which the BSP attributed to higher receipts from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than a year.
“The expansion in cash remittances in February 2023 was due to the growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers,” the central bank said in an accompanying statement.
Likewise, personal remittances — the sum of transfers sent in cash or in-kind via informal channels — were recorded at $2.860 billion, down from $3.071 billion in January but 2.4% higher than the $2.793 billion in February 2022.
Year-to-date cash remittances were up 3.0% to $5.331 billion, while personal remittances were up 3.0% to $5.931 billion.
“The growth in cash remittances from the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Qatar contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in January-February 2023,” the BSP said.
The United States accounted for 41.6% of the total year-to-date total remittances, followed by Singapore with 7.3%, Saudi Arabia with 5.5%, Japan with 5.3%, and the United Kingdom with 4.7%.
These were followed by the United Arab Emirates with 3.7%, Canada with 3.2%, Taiwan with 2.8%, Qatar with 2.7%, Malaysia with 2.5%, and other countries with 20.6%. —KG, GMA Integrated News