PERSONAL remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) amounted to US$2.341 billion in May 2020, 19.2 percent lower than the $2.896 billion recorded in May 2019.
This is the third consecutive month that personal remittances posted a year-on-year contraction amid the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on global economic activity, travel and employment, resulting in the repatriation or deferment of employment of many OFWs.
This brought the total remittances for the first five months of 2020 to $12.835 billion, a decrease of 6.4 percent from the $13.707 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more declined to $1.77 billion in May 2020, 21.1 percent lower than the $2.244 billion recorded in May 2019. Similarly, remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year fell by 12.4 percent to $519 million in May 2020 from $592 million a year ago.
Cash remittances that were coursed through banks dropped by 19.3 percent to $2.106 billion in May 2020 from $2.609 billion in May 2019. 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.
For the period January to May 2020, cash remittances amounted to $11.554 billion, 6.4 percent lower than the $12.349 billion registered in the comparative period last year. This developed as remittances of both land-based and sea-based workers fell by 7.2 percent (to $8.965 billion from $9.664 billion) and 3.6 percent (to $2.589 billion from $2.684 billion), respectively.
By source, the US registered the highest share to total OFW remittances at 39.4 percent for January to May 2020.
It was followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar and Taiwan. (PR)