Growing Number of OFW Families Using Remittance Money For Investments

More Filipino households are now investing the money sent home by family members working abroad, according to a quarterly survey conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

BSP officer-in-charge Diwa Guinigundo said the percentage of OFW households using remittances to invest as of the third quarter of the year almost doubled to 8.5 per cent from 4.4 per cent in the second quarter.

The ratio of OFW families, Gunigundo said, who are using remittance money for investments grew almost four times since the first quarter of 2007 when the Consumer Expectation Survey was launched.

Investors are returning to the financial markets with the clearer picture on the normalization path taken by the US Federal Reserve after two rate hikes undertaken last March and June. The results of the CES survey for the third quarter showed the percentage of OFW households saving remittances slipped to 42.1 per cent from 45.9 per cent in the second quarter of the year.

The percentage of Filipino families using remittances for medical expenses dropped to 52.5 percent in the third quarter from 60.8 percent in the second quarter as well as that for debt payments to 40.2 percent from 43.1 percent.

OFW households, Gunigundo noted, have also put on hold major purchases as the percentage of those who use remittance money to purchase appliances or consumer durables slipped from 25.3 per cent to 24.5 per cent. Likewise those who used remittances to purchase house declined from 16.4 per cent to 14.5 per cent.

Majority at 98.1 perc ent allocate remittances for food and other household needs while 70.3 per cent utilize the amount of money sent home by OFWs for education.

The survey for the third quarter was conducted between July 1 and 15, covering 5,430 respondents. Close to 10 percent of the total respondents or 504 households received remittances from abroad.