Money sent by overseas Filipinos to the Philippines continued to increase in July as families back in the Philippines still struggle with rising prices caused by inflation.
Data from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Friday showed that personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos rose by 2.5 percent to $3.32 billion in July 2023 from $3.24 billion in the same month last year.
Of the personal remittances from OFs, cash remittances coursed through banks amounted to $2.99 billion in July 2023, up by 2.6 percent from the $2.92 billion posted in the same month last year.
On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances reached $18.79 billion, a 2.9 percent increase from $18.26 billion registered in the same period last year.
“The growth in personal remittances in July 2023 was due to higher remittances sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” BSP said in an accompanying statement.
Cumulatively, personal remittances reached $20.91 billion in the first seven months of 2023, higher by 2.9 percent than the $20.33 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2022.
The growth in cash remittances from the United States, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in the first seven months of 2023.
Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US posted the highest share of overall remittances during the period, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort attributed the unusually higher OFW remittances in July 2023 to some tuition payments and other related spending in preparation for the start of the new school year.
“These education-related spending are considered compulsory in nature for many OFW families,” he said in a Viber message.
“The average OFW remittances year-on-year growth since the pandemic and over the past five years has been at 2 percent to 3 percent, consistent with the country’s population growth and demographics,” he added.
He added that OFW remittances could continue at a similar pace year-on-year, similar to gross domestic product growth for the coming months.
Ricafort also mentioned that OFW remittances and conversion to pesos could seasonally increase in the fourth quarter, especially during the Christmas holiday season towards the end of the year.
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