Personal remittances rise by 3.0 percent YoY to US$3.0 billion in March 2023

Personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos (OFs) rose by 3.0 percent to US$2.97 billion in March 2023 from US$2.89 billion recorded in the same month last year. The increase in personal remittances in March 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.

For Q1 2023, personal remittances rose by 3.0 percent to US$8.91 billion from US$8.65 billion recorded in the comparable period in 2022.

Of the personal remittances from OFs, cash remittances coursed through banks rose 3.0 percent to US$2.67 billion in March 2023 from US$2.59 billion in the comparable month a year ago. The expansion in cash remittances in March 2023 was due to the growth in receipts from land- and sea-based workers.

For Q1 2023, cash remittances coursed through banks amounted to US$8.00 billion, higher by 3.0 percent than the year-ago level of US$7.77 billion.

The growth in cash remittances from the United States (US), Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) contributed mainly to the increase in remittances in the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, in terms of country sources, the US 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.