2018 OFW remittances seen hitting $31B

Rep. Henry C. Ong

Second District of Leyte Rep. Henry C. Ong has predicted that remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) will hit at least $31 billion this year.

Ong based his forecast on the historical trend of remittances comparative magnitude between January to June and July to December figures of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) these past several years.

“Since 2010, the July to December combined totals of remittances sent through banks and personally brought to the homeland have always been more than double the January to June figures, BSP data show,” said Ong. https://goo.gl/JKLjRG

However, Ong said the same BSP data also point to a clear trend of OFW remittances growth rates on an apparently cyclical waveform fluctuating from 5.6 percent in 2009 to 8.6 percent in 2013 to 5.3 percent in 2017.

Remittances growth rates were high in 2013 and 2014 because of the steep rise of world crude oil prices to the $100 plateau which has the ripple effect of boosting earnings of OFW in the oil-producing countries—mostly in the Middle East.

2009 – 5.6
2010 – 7.8
2011 – 6.6
2012 – 6.5
2013 – 8.6
2014 – 7.5
2015 – 3.8
2016 – 4.9
2017 – 5.3

“Absent that crude oil price fluctuation factor, the worldwide total of OFW remittances would not have growth rates higher than around 6 percent,” said Ong.

“My suggestion to the economic managers and policy agencies in the executive branch is for them to convince OFWs to invest a big chunk of their earnings in high-added value generating small business ventures, interest income-bearing securities, retirement savings, health care insurance, and quality education for their dependents—kids and adults alike,” he said.

“I also want to see the Overseas Filipino Bank, a subsidiary of the Land Bank of the Philippines, to have a much deeper and growing role in the investment decisions of OFWs and their dependents,” the lawmaker added. (https://landbank.com/OFBank-launch).

p: wjg