SAW families save and invest less

Lawrence Agcaoili – The Filipino Star

December 20, 2021 | 12:00 noon

MANILA, Philippines – Despite the projected recovery in remittances, more families of foreign Filipino workers (OFWs) are saving and investing less in the fourth quarter as host countries gradually recover from the effects of the pandemic.

According to speaker Paolo Alegre, Senior Director of the Department of Economic Statistics at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the percentage of households using money transfers to save fell slightly in the fourth quarter of 2021 based on the results of the Consumer Expectation Survey (CES) to 31.7 percent from 31.8 percent in the previous quarter.

Likewise, Alegre said OFW families using remittances to invest fell from 11 percent to 9.2 percent.

According to the GNP, the spending priorities of SAW households are: food and other households (from 96.5 percent to 96 percent), education (from 56.9 percent to 50.5 percent) and medical expenses (from 48.7 percent to 45, 8 percent).

“The number of OFW households using their remittances to purchase groceries and other household necessities decreased in the fourth quarter of 2021,” Alegre said.

He said that referral revenues for equipment or durable goods purchases also fell from 15.1 percent to 12.9 percent, and the percentage of OFW households intending to buy a home or car went fourth Quarter back.

Meanwhile, the GNP said households who have received transfers in the past 12 months are still satisfied with the services of the remittance agencies, with a confidence index of 91.2 percent, up from the 82.2 percent survey in the third quarter.

The CES comprised 5,495 respondents, including 325 SAW households. It was conducted October 1-13, when the National Capital Region (NCR) and adjacent provinces were once again placed under increased community quarantine due to the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant.

The GNP now expects remittances to rise six percent this year and four percent next year, after slumping 0.8 percent last year as hundreds of OFWs moved to host countries due to the impact of the global health crisis were evicted.

Latest data from the central bank showed that personal remittances rose 5.4 percent to $ 28.82 billion from January through October, compared to $ 27.35 billion a year earlier.

In-person transfers include any ongoing money or in-kind transfer from OFWs, as well as other household-to-household transfers between expatriate Filipinos and their families in the Philippines.

Likewise, money transfers via banks rose 5.6 percent to 23.12 billion US dollars compared to the previous year’s value of 21.89 billion US dollars.

Both personal and cash transfers rose after shrinking 1.7 percent in January.

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