Remittances up 4.8% in August

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — Overseas Filipinos sent more money to their loved ones in the Philippines in August, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data published Friday revealed.

Remittances climbed to $2.88 billion during the month — a 4.8% leap from the $2.756 tallied in August 2020. The August figure brought total money remitted by Filipino overseas for first eight months of 2021 to $22.67 billion, up 5.9% from the same period last year.

However, the recent outturn is lower than the $3.16 billion logged in July

The BSP noted remittances from land-based workers with contracts lasting at least a year grew to $2.2 billion in August, representing a 4.2% increase. Seafarers and land-based laborers with shorter contracts, meanwhile, sent home $629 million — an 8.4% year-on-year expansion.

The United States remains the biggest source of overall remittances, accounting for 40.7% of total money sent as of end-August. Other major sources were Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Completing the pack were the United Arab Emirates, Canada, South Korea, Qatar and Taiwan.

RCBC chief economist Michael Ricafort said remittances “remain a bright spot for the Philippine economy” given the latest figure.

He expects these to increase in the last quarter of the year especially as Christmas season approaches, noting remittances’ role in ramping up consumer spending.

Ricafort emphasized growth in overseas remittances in the months ahead is mainly hinged on faster economic recovery of major host countries amid COVID-19, along with the speed at which overseas Filipino workers are able to get back their jobs.