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OFW remittances in January to February climb to US$5.6 billion, up by 5%

05.15.2020

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) amounted to US$2.62 billion in February 2020, higher by 2.6 percent from US$2.56 billion recorded in February 2019.  On a year-to-date basis, remittances for the first two months of 2020 grew by 5 percent to US$5.566 billion from the previous year’s level of US$5.302 billion. Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more rose to US$2 billion, 3.5 percent higher than US$1.9 billion recorded in February 2019. Meanwhile, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year declined by 0.9 percent to US$0.56 billion from US$0.57 billion from a year ago.

Cash remittances from OFs coursed through banks posted a 2.5 percent growth to US$2.36 billion in February 2020 from US$2.3 billion in February 2019. For the period January-February 2020, cash remittances amounted to US$5 billion, representing an increase of 4.6 percent from the US$4.8 billion registered in the comparative period last year.  By country source, the United States registered the highest share to overall remittances at 39 percent.  It was followed by Singapore, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Canada, Hong Kong, and Korea.1  The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 79.4 percent of total cash remittances.

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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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