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OFW remittances likely to rise up to 7% this year

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The remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) grew by 6 to 7 percent this year after a slump of 0.8 percent last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the cross-border digital payments services provider WorldRemit has predicted.

Earl Melivo, WorldRemit Philippines, country director, said Filipinos have shown resilience multiple times in the past including during the ongoing global health crisis.

The WorldRemit’s projection is better than the four percent increase in personal and cash remittances which was projected by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for 2021 and 2022.

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The latest data from the central bank has shown that OFW remittances grew double digits for the second straight month in May as the travel restrictions were eased in several countries.

The personal remittances which includes transfers in both cash and kind by OFWs as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines have gone up by 6.6 percent to $13.68 billion in the first five months of the year from $12.83 billion in the same period last year.

The cash remittances through banks went up by 6.3 percent to $12.28 billion from $11.55 billion in the same period last year.

The remittances from the US, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Canada would continue to grow this year while volumes from countries like Saudi Arabia, Germany, UK and New Zealand are now seeing some rebound in numbers, said Melivo.

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From the countries of Japan, Australia, Italy, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates a continued decline in overall remittances has been seen while Hong Kong and Qatar would continue to register further decline unless OFW re-deployments are increased. The remittances have helped bolster the Philippine economy and helped families improve their lives.

Apart from the Christmas season, the OFW remittances have also remained high in the beginning of the new school year.

Melivo also downplayed the impact of the inclusion of the Philippines in the gray list of Paris-based dirty money watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last June 25 on OFW remittances. He said that he doesn’t see any negative impact on the OFW remittances, but expected heightened measures on scrutinizing customers by the WorldRemit and its Philippine payout partners. (AW)

Staff Report

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