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Cash remittances down 1.4% in Sept.

Bank-channelled remittances totaled $21.886 billion as of end-September, down 1.4 percent year-on-year from $22.187 billion, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

 BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said the decline in remittances has narrowed and “better than original forecast of five percent for the full year.”

 For September only, overseas Filipinos’ cash remittances went up by 9.3 percent to $2.601 billion from $2.379 billion.

 Cash remittances increased in September as land-based workers’ fund transfers went up by 10.2 percent year-on-year to $2.301 billion while sea-based workers’ remittances increased by 6.5 percent year-on-year to $570 million.

 From January to September, the BSP said that by country source, the US, Singapore, Qatar, Hong Kong, and Taiwan registered growth in remittances. However Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom registered declines. 

 “The US (because most correspondent banks used by remittance centers are located in the US) posted the highest share to total remittances at 40.1 percent, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the UK, the UAE, Canada, Hong Kong, Qatar, and Taiwan. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.8 percent of total cash remittances,” said the BSP.

 As for personal remittances which used to be called the “padala system”, this amounted to $24.301 billion, also 1.4 percent lower year-on-year from $24.643 billion.

 For the month of September alone, personal remittances increased by 9.1 percent year-on-year to $2.888 billion from $2.648 billion.

 Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more went up by 10.2 percent to $2.205 billion in September, higher than $2.001 billion in 2019. Sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year increased by 6.5 percent to $622 million from $584 million same time last year.

 Diokno said earlier that the contraction in remittances will not be as worse as they though it would be.

 He said the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on overseas Filipinos’ remittances is “milder than earlier predicted”.

 The BSP is projecting remittances to contract by a negative two percent for 2020, an improvement from its previous estimate of negative five percent. The BSP’s revised forecast translates to remittances of $29.5 billion for 2020 compared to $30.1 billion in 2019.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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