US still the no. 1 remittance source for the Philippines

19-Feb-2019 Intellasia | Business Mirror | 6:00 AM Print This Post

DESPITE stricter rules on immigration and labour policies, the United States remained to be the top country source of remittances to the Philippines in 2018, latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed.

Remittances that came from the US amounted to $9.986 billion in end-2018, making up more than a third or about 34.5 percent of the total remittance inflows to the country during the year.

Analysts had earlier raised concern on the possible effect of US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies and immigration laws in the US on the level of remittances from the US to the Philippines.

But remittances in 2018 proved to be resilient, as Filipino migrant workers in the US were still able to grow their remittances by 6 percent compared to the level of cash they sent back home in 2017.

Saudi Arabia is the second-largest remittance source during the year, with $2.23 billion in cash sent to the Philippines during the year. This represents 7.7 percent of the total remittance stock of the country in 2018. This is followed by the United Arab Emirates with $2.04 billion remittance flows to the Philippines in 2018.

Singapore is the fourth-largest remittance source in 2018, with cash flows from Filipino migrant workers in the country to the Philippines amounting to $1.85 billion in 2018. Japan follows with $1.5 billion remittances during the year.

Filipino migrant workers from the United Kingdom also sent a significant amount of remittances back home in 2018, with $1.497 billion cash flows during the year, making them the sixth-largest country source for remittances in 2018.

Total cash remittances to the Philippines hit $28.9 billion in 2018, registering a 3.1-percent growth from the previous year. The growth in cash remittances was supported by the transfers from both land-based and sea-based overseas FIlipino workers, which grew by 2.8 percent and 4.6 percent from 2017, respectively.

“Cash remittances in 2018 remained strong amid political uncertainties across the globe. This is evident in Asia, the Americas and Europe, which grew annually by 12.3 percent, 9.7 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively,” the BSP said.

“The growth in these regions made up for the 15.3-percent decrease in remittances from the Middle East, partly due to the continued repatriation programme of the government,” the central bank added.

The BSP noted limitations to remittances by data source, however, as a practice of some remittance centers abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks. Most of these correspondent banks are in the US.


Category: Philippines

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