Oliver 18 0 0 4 min to read

In November, Filipino laborers sent back less money.

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Personal remittances remitted to the Philippines by Filipinos living abroad totaled $2.93 billion in November and increased at the quickest rate of 5.8 percent in 17 months.

Despite this, remittances in the eleventh month of 2022 were lower than the most recent high, which was reached in July of last year when the monthly inflow reached $3.24 billion.

According to data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the previous high point for the monthly growth rate was reached in June 2021 at 7.3 percent.

By adding in payments in kind, personal remittances from January to November totaled $32.65 billion, up 3.4 percent from the $31.59 billion that came in during the same period in 2021.

Land-based employees

The BSP claimed that greater remittances sent by land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, as well as by sea- and land-based workers with employment contracts of less than one year, were to blame for the continuous growth of inflows.

Ninety percent of the total amount received in November is cash that overseas Filipino workers (OFW) sent to banks. This was estimated at $2.64 billion, up 5.7% from $2.5 billion in the corresponding month of 2021.

Cash remittances totaled $29.38 billion from January to November, up 3.3 percent from $28.43 billion during the same period in 2021.

According to the BSP, banks with US registrations had the largest percentage of remittances going to the Philippines, followed by those with Singaporean and Saudi Arabian registrations.

Currency depreciation

Cash remittances fell to their lowest level in six months or since $2.4 billion in April 2022 in November, according to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. senior economist Michael Ricafort.

Additionally, the $2.91 billion total for the preceding month, October 2022, fell by 9.2 percent in comparison to the November amount.

However, Ricafort noted that it was still not far off the $2.987 billion monthly record high set 11 months earlier in December 2021.

The comparatively higher US dollar-peso exchange rate compared to early 2022 may be the cause of the slowing in OFW remittances, the analyst suggested.

The Philippine peso strengthened from 57.97:$1 at the end of October to conclude trading in November at 56.56:$1.

Given the higher equivalent of these remittances when translated to pesos, Ricafort said that this contributed to a decrease in the quantity of US dollars transferred by OFWs to the Philippines.

Additionally, he continued, “increasing prices and inflation also in host countries of OFWs could have increased the cost of living of OFWs overseas, thereby partially lowering the amount sent to the country.”

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