Cash remittances from Filipinos working overseas declined 4.1 percent in August to $2.48 billion from $2.589 billion a year ago, on lower inflows from both the land-based and sea-based workers amid the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Thursday.
The latest figure brought the remittance tally in the first eight months to $19.285 billion, down 2.6 percent from $19.808 billion registered in the same period last year.
“This was due to the decline in remittances from both land-based and sea-based workers, which fell by 1.9 percent [to $15.183 billion from $15.476 billion] and 5.3 percent [to $4.101 billion from $4.332 billion], respectively,” the BSP said in a statement.
By country source, the decline in remittances in August from the same month last year was observed from Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates. These were partly offset by the remittance growth from the United States, Singapore and Malaysia.
The BSP said receipts from the US registered the highest share at 40.2 percent in terms of cumulative share, followed by Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Qatar. The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.9 percent of total cash remittances.
Meanwhile, personal remittances, which include non-cash items, declined 4.2 percent in August to $2.756 from $2.875 billion in the same month last year.
This brought the cumulative remittances in the eight-month period to $21.414 billion, a decrease of 2.6 percent from $21.995 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2019.
Personal remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more went down by 4.6 percent to $2.118 billion from $2.221 billion recorded in August 2019.
Remittances from sea-based workers and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year retreated by 2.2 percent to $580 million in August this year from $593 million in August last year.
Cash remittances rose 4.1 percent in 2019 to an all-time high of $30.133 billion from $28.94 billion in 2018.
The BSP expects remittances to contract by 2 percent in 2020 amid the global health crisis but recover by 4 percent in 2021, on expectation that the pandemic would be over by that time.