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OFW cash transfers increased by 3.8% in September.

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In September 2022, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sent home USD2.84 billion, up 3.8 percent year over year, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which cited strong growth from both land-based and sea-based employees.

According to figures issued by the central bank on Tuesday, overall cash remittances increased by 3.1 percent to USD23.83 billion in the first three quarters of this year compared to the same time in 2021.

The ninth month of this year saw a 4.2 percent increase in land-based worker inflows to USD2.25 billion and a 2.5 percent increase in sea-based worker inflows to USD59 million.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Qatar, according to the BSP, accounted for the majority of remittances during the first three quarters of this year.

According to Michael Ricafort, chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), remittance growth in September of last year was lower than the 5.2% growth seen in September of the previous year.

This, according to him, was partially caused by the US’s high inflation and interest rates, which “partially dragged on both OFW employment and incomes and slightly slowed down/weighed on the recovery in the global economy.”

Even yet, he wrote in a study, “the sustained expansion in OFW remittances may be attributed to the need to finance more of their local spending with the further opening of the economy as well as to pay for higher prices/inflation locally for OFWs and their dependents/families.”

According to Ricafort, the local currency’s decline against the dollar has increased the number of remittances in pesos, but this is offset by the domestic inflation rate’s ongoing rise, which reached a nearly 14-year high of 7.7 percent last October.

“Thus, there may still be a need to send more OFW remittances due to higher prices/inflation, which erodes/offsets whatever foreign exchange gains due to the stronger US dollar vs. major global currencies,” he said.

Ricafort anticipates that the seasonal rise in remittances during the Christmas season will give the peso a further boost.

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