Personal remittances reach US$2.8 billion in May 2023

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) reached US$2.78 billion in May 2023,  higher by 2.9 percent than the US$2.70 billion registered in the same month last year.

The increase in personal remittances in May 2023 was due to higher remittances sent by 1) land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more and 2) sea- and land-based workers with work contracts of less than one year.

Consequently, personal remittances for the first five months of the year grew by  3.1 percent to US$14.46 billion, from US$14.02 billion posted in the comparable period in 2022.

Of the personal remittances from OFs, cash remittances coursed through banks rose by 2.8 percent to US$2.49 billion in May 2023 from the US$2.43 billion recorded in the same month last year. The expansion in cash remittances in May 2023 was due to the growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers.

On a year-to-date basis, cash remittances reached US$12.98 billion, 3.1 percent higher than the year-ago level of US$12.59 billion.

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (U.S.), Singapore, and Saudi Arabia contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in the first five months of 2023. Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the U.S. posted the highest share of overall remittances during the period, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.[1]

[1] There are some limitations on the remittance data by source. A common practice of remittance centers in various cities abroad is to course remittances through correspondent banks, most of which are located in the U.S. Also, remittances coursed through money couriers cannot be disaggregated by actual country source and are lodged under the country where the main offices are located, which, in many cases, is in the U.S. Therefore, the U.S. would appear to be the main source of OF remittances because banks attribute the origin of funds to the most immediate source. The countries are listed in order of their share of cash remittances, i.e., from highest to lowest.