OFW remittances up 5.1% in November, bring 11-month total to $28.43B

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MONEY sent by Filipino migrant workers continued to grow in November, supporting recovery efforts for the economy towards 2021’s close. 

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported on Friday that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) sent $2.502 billion in cash remittances in November 2021, growing by 5.1 percent from the volume they sent in the same month in 2020. 

Broken down, land-based workers’ cash remittances grew 6.3 percent to hit $1.97 billion during the month, while sea-based workers’ remittances increased by 1.2 percent to hit $527 million. 

Holiday boost

ING Bank economist Nicholas Mapa said the strong remittance flows sent by migrant workers ahead of the holidays will boost spending and help with the recovery of the economy.

“A steady dose of overseas Filipino remittances and business-process outsourcing [BPO] receipts has helped support the local unit throughout most of 2021, a year that saw the Peso tumble like most in the region.  We can expect these two structural types of flows to continue to flow in 2022, helping steady the Philippine peso yet again,” Mapa said.

“However, we expect external events to overtake real sector flows as the Fed prepares its eventual rate liftoff this year.  Remittances and BPO receipts will likely be relied on heavily to steady the currency,” he added. 

11-month total: $28.4B

The November cash remittance volume brought the total cash remittances sent to the country to $28.43 billion in January to November 2021, up 5.2 percent from the $27.013 billion in the same 11-month period in 2020. 

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Taiwan, and Malaysia contributed largely to the increase in remittances in January to November 2021. 

Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US posted the highest share of overall remittances at 40.7 percent in the first 11 months of 2021, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar, and South Korea.

The combined remittances from these top 10 countries accounted for 78.9 percent of total cash remittances during the period.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes