Personal Remittances In 2021 Hit An All Time High Despite The Pandemic – BSP
Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) hit a new high of US$34.884 billion in 2021, up 5.1 percent from US$33.467 in 2019 and US$33.194 billion in 2020. Personal remittances increased by 2.9 percent year over year in December to US$3.298 billion, the highest monthly figure since the personal remittances data series began in 2005.
Remittances from 1.) land-based workers with one-year or longer contracts, which increased by 5.6 percent annually to US$27.005 billion from US$25.564 billion in 2020, and 2) sea- and land-based workers with shorter contracts, which increased by 2.9 percent to US$7.138 billion from US$6.934 billion in 2020, drove the sustained growth in personal remittances during the year. Personal remittances increased as a result of an increase in OFW deployment, robust demand for OFWs as host economies reopened to foreign workers, and the continuous move to digital support that enabled inward remittance transfers.
Strong inbound remittances, in turn, contributed to a growth in domestic demand, contributing to 8.9% and 8.5 percent of the country’s GDP and GNI, respectively, in 2021.
Cash remittances through banks increased by 3.3 percent to US$2.987 billion in December 2021 from US$2.89 billion the previous month. This resulted in total cash remittances of US$31.418 billion in 2021, up 5.1 percent from US$29.903 billion in 2020. The rise in receipts from land-based and sea-based employees, which increased by 5.6 percent (to US$24.873 billion from US$23.55 billion) and 3.0 percent (to US$6.545 billion from US$6.354 billion), respectively, aided the expansion in cash remittances in 2021.
Despite the worldwide pandemic, monetary remittances sent by OFs from other parts of the world remained strong. Annual inward remittances from the Americas (7.1 percent), Europe (5.5 percent), Asia (4.5 percent), and the Middle East (4.5 percent) all increased (0.7 percent). Cash remittances from the United States were the most common source of remittances, accounting for 40.5 percent of total remittances, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Taiwan, Qatar, and South Korea. 1 In 2021, the combined remittances from these top 10 countries accounted for 78.9% of all cash remittances.