The Philippines will continue to be one of world’s major remittance recipients, the World Bank said, with inflows expected to top$30 billion this year.
In the latest edition of its Migration and Development Brief, the Washington-based multilateral lender said the Philippines would be the third-biggest remittance recipient with estimated total inflows of $33 billion for 2017.
“Remittances to the Philippines continue to remain resilient despite declining inflows from Saudi Arabia,” it noted.
The World Bank said remittances were likely to grow by 5.2 percent this year, slightly higher than 2016’s 4.5 percent, despite political uncertainties in the Middle East.
Latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed remittances hitting $17.92 billion as of end-July. The full-year tally for 2016 was $27.7 billion.
India retained the top spot in the World Bank report with remittances expected to total $65 billion this year, followed by China ($61 billion). Following the Philippines in fourth and fifth places were Mexico (a record $31 billion) and Nigeria (($22 billion).
The World Bank said its projections were based on the view that remittances to low- and middle-income countries like the Philippines were on course to rebound in 2017 after two consecutive years of decline.
The recovery is being driven by relatively stronger growth in the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the United States, it said.
Meanwhile, the World Bank noted that the global average cost of sending $200 remained stagnant at 7.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017, significantly higher than the Sustainable Development Goal target of 3 percent.
“Remittances are a lifeline for developing countries; this is particularly true following natural disasters, such as the recent earthquakes in Mexico and the storms devastating the Caribbean,” said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report.
“It is imperative for the global community to reduce the cost of remitting money, by eliminating exclusivity contracts, especially in the high-income OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries,” he added.
“There is also an urgent need to address de-risking behavior of global banks.”