Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos workers (OFWs) fell for the third straight month amid the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on global economic activity.
Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed OFW remittance amounted to $2.341 billion in May 2020, 19.2 percent lower than the $2.896 billion recorded in the same month last year.
This brought the total remittances for the first five months of 2020 to $12.835 billion, a decrease of 6.4 percent from the $13.707 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.
By country source, the United States registered the highest share to total OFW remittances at 39.4 percent for January–May 2020. It was followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Hongkong.
Personal remittances from land-based workers contracted of one year or more declined to $1.77 billion in May 2020, 21.1 percent lower than $2.244 billion recorded in May 2019.
Similarly, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracted of less than one year fell by 12.4 percent to $519 million in May 2020 from $592 million a year ago.
“The decline in cash remittances was due to the negative effects of the continued limited operating hours of some banks and institutions that provide money transfer services during the lockdown and the repatriation of many OFWs in March 2020,” said the BSP in a statement.