Economic recovery, vaccine rollout to fuel PH remittances

Economic recovery, vaccine rollout to fuel PH remittances

MANILA – The continuous demand for Filipino medical workers along with the eventual roll-out of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines are projected as among the drivers of remittance inflows to the Philippines this year.

In a report, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said economic recoveries of countries where there are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is also a plus since this will allow retrenched workers to regain their jobs.

“An offsetting factor is the fact that some OFWs work as front-liners especially in the health/medical sector and other essential industries, enabling some of them to continue working and sending remittances to the Philippines,” he said.

Data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Thursday showed a 0.3 percent year-on-year increase of cash remittances last November to USD2.379 billion.

As of end-November 2020, cash remittances posted a 0.8 percent year-on-year contraction to USD27.013 billion, which authorities attribute to the impact of the pandemic.

BSP forecasts 2020 remittances to contract by 2 percent but to recover by around 4 percent this year.

The government said more than 300,000 OFWs have been repatriated since the start of the pandemic due to job losses.

However, with more countries re-opening their economies, Ricafort said this will allow workers to regain their jobs or opens opportunities for others.

This, especially since OFW deployment continues to diversify to areas that are not traditional host countries.

Ricafort said the Philippines is the biggest supplier of seafarers, at about 20-25 percent globally.

The country is also among the biggest suppliers of nurses worldwide, at around 20 percent, he said.

“Ageing population in some developed countries also structurally increased the demand for OFWs in recent years,” he added. (PNA)

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