OFW Remittances Reach $2.31B in May 2017

Anticipating the class openings in the Philippines, Filipinos abroad sent home $2.31 billion, 5.5% higher year-on-year, keeping monthly remittances at least $2 billion for the 16th straight month.

Cash remittances sent through banks last May rose from $2.188 billion a year ago and exceeded the $2.083 billion in April, the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas data released Monday showed. The figures reversed the 5.9-% drop posted in April.

In a statement, BSP Governor Nestor A. Espenilla Jr. said remittances from land-based Filipino migrant workers in May rose 6.2% year-on-year to $1.8 billion, while those from sea-based OFWs grew 3% to $500 million.

OFWs from UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United States compose bulk of cash remittances. In the first five months of the year, remittances totaled $11.346 billion, up 4.5% from $10.859 billion in same period of last year.

Espenilla added that cash sent home by land-based OFWs as of end-May increased 5.9% year-on-year to $9 billion. Sea-based OFWs, meanwhile, sent home $2.3 billion during the five-month period, down 0.6% from a year ago, he BSP governor added.

Cash remittances from Canada, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the US accounted for fourth-fifths of the end-May total, according to BSP data.

Based on updated projections released last month, the BSP expects cash remittances from Filipinos working and living abroad to reach another record-high of $28 billion by yearend.

The BSP had kept the 4-% remittances growth target for 2017, although the value of the updated forecast was higher than the earlier projection of $27.7 billion. In comparison, cash sent home by overseas Filipinos through banks hit a record $26.9 billion in 2016, up 5% from $25.6 billion in 2015.