OFW families investing more – survey

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star
OFW families investing more � survey
Undated file photo of Overseas Filipino workers, locally stranded individuals and passengers with cancelled domestic fl ights wait at the NAIA-2’s departure area.
STAR / Rudy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — More families of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are turning to investments as the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees cash remittances growing at a faster rate of six percent this year with the gradual reopening of host countries from the impact of the pandemic.

Based on the result of the BSP’s third quarter 2021 Consumer Expectation Survey (CES), the percentage of households with investments almost doubled to 11 percent from 6.1 percent in the second quarter.

On the other hand, the percentage of families saving the money they received from their loved ones overseas declined to 31.8 percent from 33 percent.

The spending priorities of OFW households, based on the survey, are: food and other household (96.5 percent), education (56.9 percent) and medical expenses (48.7 percent).

“The number of OFW households that utilizes their remittances for the purchase of food and other household needs increased in the third quarter,” the BSP said.

It also said the remittance proceeds used for the purchase of appliances or consumer durables increased, while the percentage of OFW households intending to buy a house or a car slipped in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the BSP said households remain satisfied with the services of remittance agencies, with a confidence index at 89.2 percent, higher than the 86.7 percent recorded in the second quarter.

The CES, which was conducted from July 1 to 14 covering 5,560 respondents, surveyed more than 300 OFW households.

Zeno Ronald Abenoja, managing director of the BSP’s Department of Economic Research, earlier said the Monetary Board took into consideration the robust growth in remittances with the redeployment of more OFWs as the global economy recovers from the impact of the   pandemic.

“Now several factors support this upward revision. Firstly, is the sustained recovery of OFW remittances in the first half of the year. Secondly, we have observed increased global demand for foreign workers as host economies start rebooting their economies,” Abenoja said

Latest data released by the central bank showed personal remittances increased by six percent to $19.78 billion from January to July compared to last year’s $18.66 billion.

Personal remittances include all current transfers in cash or in kind by OFWs, as well as other household-to-household transfers between Filipinos who have migrated abroad and their families in the Philippines.

Likewise, cash remittances coursed through banks expanded by 5.8 percent to $17.77 billion from a year-ago level of $16.8 billion.

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