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5-mo. remittances shrink 6.2% to $12.8B

Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos amounted to $2.341 billion in May, 19.2 percent lower than the $2.896 billion recorded in the same month last year.

This brought the total remittances for the first five months of 2020 to $12.835 billion, a decrease of 6.4 percent from the $13.707 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.

This is the third consecutive month that personal remittances posted year-on-year contraction amid the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on global economic activity, travel, and employment, resulting in the repatriation or deferment of employment of many OFWs.

Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to $1.77 billion in May, 21.1 percent lower than $2.244 billion recorded in May 2019.

Remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year also fell by 12.4 percent to $519 million in May from $592 million a year ago.

OF cash remittances that are coursed through banks dropped by 19.3 percent to $2.106 billion in May from $2.609 billion from the same a year-ago period.

The decline in cash remittances was due to the negative effects of the continued limited operating hours of some banks and institutions that provide money transfer services during the lockdown and the repatriation of many OFWs in March this year.

For the period January–May, cash remittances amounted to $11.554 billion, 6.4 percent lower than the $12.349 billion registered in the comparative period last year.

This developed as remittances of both land- based and sea-based workers fell by 7.2 percent (to $$8.965 billion from $9.664 billion) and 3.6 percent (to $2.589 billion from $2.684 billion), respectively.

By country source, the United States registered the highest share to total OF remittances at 39.4 percent for January–May 2020.

It was followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar, and Taiwan. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances.