Overseas Filipinos’ 9-month remittances hit $27.74 B; US, Saudi, Japan top senders

MANILA – Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos have remained among the top dollar earners for the country as they brought home US$27.74 billion in remittances for the first nine months of the year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) reported.

Overseas Filipinos’ remittances from January to September 2023 rose by 2.8 percent from the US$26.49 billion in the same period in 2022.

These grew by 2.6 percent to US$3.23 billion last September from US$3.15 billion a year ago.

“The growth in personal remittances in September 2023 was driven by increased remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year,” the BSP statement said.

Top sources of personal remittances in January to September period are the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan and United Kingdom.

Cash remittances through banks both increased year-on-year and year-to-date by 2.6 percent and 2.8 percent to reach to US$2.91 billion and US$24.49 billion, respectively.

“OFW (overseas Filipino worker) cash remittances for the month of September 2023: +2.6 percent year-on-year (slower versus +3.8 percent a year ago or in September 2022–but the continued growth nevertheless is still a good signal/bright spot for the overall economy as an important growth driver) to US$2.913 billion, the highest in two months or since July 2023 and the second highest so far this year and also still among record highs on a monthly basis” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort said.

On the effect of the Israel-Hamas conflict to remittances, Ricafort said it remains manageable for as long as it does not escalate and spread in other areas in the Middle East, especially the oil producers that are also host countries for many OFWs.