According to the latest data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas last May 25, 2017, money coursed through banks by the sea-based workers declined two percent amounting to $1.4 Billion in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the remitted money in the same period of 2016.
But in consensus, remittances of sea-based and landbased OFWs this March have sent more money home, such that cash remittances that month hit a record-high of $2.615 billion.
Data showed that cash coursed through banks last March exceeded by 10.7 percent the $2.362 billion in remittances a year ago, reversing the 1.4-percent year-on-year decline during the same month last year.
March as well marked the 14th straight month that cash remittances breached the $2-billion level.
The March figure exceeded the previous high of $2.559 billion recorded last December. Remittances historically peaked during the month of December amid the Christmas holiday season.
To recall, the peso slid to the P50:$1 level since mid-February before returning to the P49:$1 level in April.
Therefore, a weaker peso translated into more value for the local currency when exchanged with dollars.
Tetangco Jr. further stated that the said remittances from land-based OFWs rose 12.8 percent year-on-year to $2.1 billion in March, while those of seabased OFWs increased 3.4 percent to $500 million.
He added that the top five countries that contributed the bulk of remittances growth last March were the United States, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and Hong Kong.
The BSP data also exhibited that at the end of the first three months, cash remittances reached $6.953 billion, up 7.7 percent from $6.457 billion last year, a faster year-onyear growth compared with 3.2 percent a year ago, BSP data showed.
“During the first quarter, cash sent home by land-based OFWs jumped 10.4 percent yearon-year to $5.6 billion, while money from sea-based OFWs declined 2 percent to $1.4 billion,” Tetangco said.
Nearly four-fifths of the first-quarter cash remittances were from OFWs in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the UAE, the United Kingdom and the US, Tetangco added.
The BSP had projected a 4-percent growth in remittances for 2017.
In 2016, cash remittances hit a record of $26.9 billion, up by 5 percent from $25.607 billion in 2015.