Philippines’ OFW remittances reach record high in 2021 despite Covid-19

In a street mural in Manila, OFWs are lauded as “heroes for bringing the country peace and prosperity”

Oversea Filipino Workers, or OFW, sent home a record high of remittances through banking channels of $31.4 billion last year despite the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s central bank said in a statement on February 15.

Cash remittances rose 5.1 per cent from $29.9 billion in 2020, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

Adding personal transfers in cash and the value of non-cash items brought from Filipinos abroad, the overall amount of total personal remittances even reached $34.9 billion, also a record high and up 5.1 per cent from $33.2 billion in 2020, it noted.

The central bank did not include potential transfers via crypto currencies though, if any.

Family support amid economic troubles caused by pandemic

This is a healthy recovery from 2020 when cash remittances by OFW declined 0.8 per cent from the 2019 pre-pandemic amount of $30.1 billion.  However, the drop was softer than expected as Covid-19 forced many overseas Filipinos to support their families back home despite thousands of migrant workers repatriated at the height of the pandemic-induced global recession two years ago.

Last year’s remittances from the Americas were up 7.1 per cent over 2020, from Europe 5.5 per cent, from Asia 4.5 per cent and from the Middle East 0.7 per cent. Cash remittances from the US were the top source, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. These ten countries accounted for 78.9 per cent of total cash transfers by OFW.

Remittances make up nearly nine per cent of the Philippines’ GDP

“The growth in the 2021 cash remittances was supported by the increase in receipts from land-based and sea-based workers, which rose by 5.6 per cent to $24.9 billion and three per cent to $6.5 billion, respectively,” the central bank said, adding that personal remittances from OFW accounted for 8.9 per cent of the Philippines’ 2021 gross domestic product.

“The growth in personal remittances reflected a pickup in overseas Filipino workers’ deployment, strong demand for OFW amid the reopening of host economies to foreign workers and the continued shift to digital support that facilitated inward transfer of remittances,” the central bank noted.



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[caption id="attachment_38243" align="alignleft" width="300"] In a street mural in Manila, OFWs are lauded as "heroes for bringing the country peace and prosperity"[/caption] Oversea Filipino Workers, or OFW, sent home a record high of remittances through banking channels of $31.4 billion last year despite the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s central bank said in a statement on February 15. Cash remittances rose 5.1 per cent from $29.9 billion in 2020, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said. Adding personal transfers in cash and the value of non-cash items brought from Filipinos abroad, the overall amount of total personal remittances even reached $34.9 billion,...

In a street mural in Manila, OFWs are lauded as “heroes for bringing the country peace and prosperity”

Oversea Filipino Workers, or OFW, sent home a record high of remittances through banking channels of $31.4 billion last year despite the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s central bank said in a statement on February 15.

Cash remittances rose 5.1 per cent from $29.9 billion in 2020, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

Adding personal transfers in cash and the value of non-cash items brought from Filipinos abroad, the overall amount of total personal remittances even reached $34.9 billion, also a record high and up 5.1 per cent from $33.2 billion in 2020, it noted.

The central bank did not include potential transfers via crypto currencies though, if any.

Family support amid economic troubles caused by pandemic

This is a healthy recovery from 2020 when cash remittances by OFW declined 0.8 per cent from the 2019 pre-pandemic amount of $30.1 billion.  However, the drop was softer than expected as Covid-19 forced many overseas Filipinos to support their families back home despite thousands of migrant workers repatriated at the height of the pandemic-induced global recession two years ago.

Last year’s remittances from the Americas were up 7.1 per cent over 2020, from Europe 5.5 per cent, from Asia 4.5 per cent and from the Middle East 0.7 per cent. Cash remittances from the US were the top source, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar and South Korea. These ten countries accounted for 78.9 per cent of total cash transfers by OFW.

Remittances make up nearly nine per cent of the Philippines’ GDP

“The growth in the 2021 cash remittances was supported by the increase in receipts from land-based and sea-based workers, which rose by 5.6 per cent to $24.9 billion and three per cent to $6.5 billion, respectively,” the central bank said, adding that personal remittances from OFW accounted for 8.9 per cent of the Philippines’ 2021 gross domestic product.

“The growth in personal remittances reflected a pickup in overseas Filipino workers’ deployment, strong demand for OFW amid the reopening of host economies to foreign workers and the continued shift to digital support that facilitated inward transfer of remittances,” the central bank noted.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

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