Cash remittances drop in May due to repatriation, limited bank operations

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2020 11:32 AM

Department of Foreign Affairs personnel (below) process 101 stranded Filipino seafarers who arrived home from Fujian, China months after their ships were forced to anchor in the high seas in this picture released on July 24, 2020. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos dropped in May due to limited bank operations and repatriation of overseas workers due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Monday.

Cash remittances coursed through banks reached $2.106 billion (P103 billion) in May down 19.3 percent from $2.609 billion the same month last year, the BSP said in a statement.

"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 2020," the BSP said.

Cash remittances from January to May reached $11.554 billion, 6.4 percent lower than $12.349 in the same comparative period, it said.

The United States registered the highest share at 39.4 percent for January to May, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar and Taiwan, the BSP said.

Total remittances for the January to May this year reached $12.8 billion, down 6.4 percent compared to $13.7 billion in the same comparable period, the central bank said.
 
Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos reached $2.341 billion in May, 19.2 percent lower than last year, the third consecutive month the personal remittance posted year-on-year contraction influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, the BSP said.

The BSP said total remittances for the first 5 months of the year totaled $12.835 billion, 6.4 percent lower from $13.707 billion in the same comparable period.

BSP Gov. Benjamin Diokno earlier said dollar remittances could contract by up to 5 percent due to the pandemic.