Personal remittances up by 1.2 percent in February 2022

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) grew by 1.2 percent to US$2.793 billion in February 2022 from US$2.759 billion recorded in the same month last year.

The expansion in February increased the cumulative personal remittances to US$5.759 billion in the first two months of 2022, which is 1.9 percent higher than the US$5.653 billion registered in the comparable period in 2021.

The growth in personal remittances in February 2022 was slower, however, compared to that in January at 2.5 percent due in part to the reimposition of restrictions in OF host countries and the Philippines amid a resurgence in COVID cases across the globe.

Remittances were sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more, which increased by 1.3 percent to US$2.18 billion from US$2.152 billion in the same month last year, and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year, which grew by 1.5 percent to US$547 million from US$538 million a year ago.

Similarly, cash remittances coursed through banks increased by 1.3 percent to US$2.509 billion in February 2022 from US$2.476 billion registered in the same month in 2021. The expansion in cash remittances was due to the increase in receipts from land-based and sea-based workers, which grew by 1.2 percent (to US$2.007 billion from US$1.983 billion) and 1.6 percent (to US$501 million from US$493 million), respectively.

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Japan, and Singapore contributed largely to the increase in remittances in the first two months of 2022.

Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US registered the highest share of overall remittances at 41.6 percent in January – February 2022, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar, and Malaysia.[1]

The combined remittances from these top ten countries accounted for 79.3 percent of total cash remittances during the period.

[1] There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also, remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.