PH sailors’ cash transfers seen passing $6B mark this year

The cash sent home by Filipino sailors via bank channels alone is projected to surpass the $6 billion mark this year, the ACTS-OFW Coalition of Organizations said on Sunday.

“We expect the annual cash transfers from Filipino officers and ratings on international ocean-going vessels to continue to increase by mid to high single-digit rate,” said ACTS-OFW chairman Aniceto Bertiz III.

“The growth is being driven by sustained enlistment, amid the tight global supply of ship officers in particular,” Bertiz, a former member of Congress, said.

Filipino sailors remitted via bank wire a total of $4.87 billion in cash from January to September this year, up eight percent versus $4.51 billion in the same nine-month period in 2018, Bertiz said.

Bertiz said the bulk of the cash from Filipino sailors in the first three quarters came from:

  • the United States ($1.8 billion);
  • Singapore ($512.5 million);
  • Germany ($423.8 million);
  • Japan ($388.1 million);
  • United Kingdom ($242.5 million);
  • Netherlands ($216.9 million);
  • Hong Kong ($154.6 million);
  • Panama ($126.9 million);
  • Cyprus ($124.4 million); and
  • Greece ($103.2 million).

The Philippines is the world’s second-largest supplier of licensed ship officers next to China, and the biggest provider of unlicensed ship ratings or non-officer crew ahead of China, according to the London-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The other top suppliers of ship officers and ratings are India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

ICS earlier cited a global shortage of some 16,500 ship officers and an oversupply of ratings.