Philippines – In April: Remittances climb at faster 3.8% pace

MANILA, Philippines — Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) increased by 3.2 percent in the first four months of the year after climbing by a faster rate of 3.8 percent in April, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Latest data from the central bank showed personal remittances amounted to $11.68 billion from January to April this year, $360 million higher than the $11.32 billion in the same period last year.

The sum of net compensation of employees, personal transfers, and capital transfers between households in April amounted to $2.77 billion from $2.67 billion in the same month last year.

Of the total, cash remittances coursed through banks went up by 3.2 percent to $10.49 billion in the first four months from $10.19 billion in the same period last year.

The growth in cash remittances from the US, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in the first four months.

In terms of country sources, the US posted the highest share of overall remittances during the period, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia and Japan.

For the month of April, cash remittances reached $2.48 billion from $2.39 billion in the same month last year.

“Amid the global spillovers, the country’s robust external accounts have continued to serve as a cushion,” BSP Deputy Governor Francisco Dakila Jr. said during the Philippine Economic Briefing in Singapore.

The BSP missed its four percent growth target for the second straight year as remittances increased by only 3.6 percent in 2022.

Dakila said personal remittances hit an all-time high of $36.14 billion last year, of which cash remittances hit a record high of $32.54 billion.

“Cash remittances from overseas Filipinos have remained resilient through the ups and downs of the global economy,” Dakila said.

For this year, the BSP’s Monetary Board has lowered the target for both personal and cash remittances to three percent from four percent.

“For this year, we’re expecting remittances to grow by three percent,” Dakila said.