Remittances support 12% of Philippines households

Czeriza Valencia - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have been supporting around 12 percent of Filipino households especially those in the top income brackets, according to the latest National Migration Survey (NMS). 

The 2018 NMS conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) found that this percentage of Filipino households had at least one member who was or had been an OFW. Of these households, a fourth belongs to the highest wealth quintile, a tenth belongs to the middle wealth quintile and 4.3 percent belongs to the lowest wealth quintile. 

Among households receiving or have received remittances from OFWs, most are in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Cagayan Valley, and the Ilocos Region. Regions with the lowest percentages of households with current or former OFWs are Caraga, Mimaropa and Central Luzon.

As around 2.3 million Filipinos migrate overseas for better jobs, around 13 percent of 100.9 million Filipinos have been migrating internally in the past five years from less prosperous regions or cities in the country to regions where there are better economic opportunities. 

Some of these internal migrants are lifetime migrants or those residing in a place different from the usual residence of their parents. 

The NMS also showed that most lifetime migrants settle in the National Capital Region, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, Davao Region and Central Visayas. 

These internal migrations were found to be significant sources of remittances as well. 

The NMS survey found that 48 percent of the population aged 15 percent and over responded that they have been receiving remittances from local sources. Four percent, meanwhile, reported receiving remittances from both sources. 

PSA said this indicates that “domestic remittances are just as important as international remittances.” 

By age group, senior citizens—those in the age group of 60 and over—were the top recipients of remittances while those in the age groups 30 up to 39 and those aged 40 up to 49 were the strongest senders of remittances. 

Money transfer operators was the predominant mode for transferring remittances both domestically (90 percent) and internationally, followed by remittances through banks. 

Transfers through families and friends, meanwhile “were not so common.” 

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