By Charissa Luci-Atienza
The vice chairman of the House committee on banks and financial intermediaries is anticipating continued increase in overseas Filipino workers’ cash remittances from Kuwait this year.
Leyte Rep. Henry Ong said the cash remittances from Kuwait increased by nearly $8 million in April, citing latest data released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
“This does not include the expected positive impact of the total lifting in May of OFW deployment ban to the Emirates. Also not yet counted are the remittances the OFWs personally brought with them when they were repatriated or came home for scheduled vacation,” he noted.
He attributed the increase in the OFW remittances to no Holy Week holidays to suspend money transfers and the urgent need to send cash in time for school graduations, summer vacation expenses, and summertime fiestas or celebrations.
In March, remittances dropped to $33.9 million mainly because of the Holy Week holidays, he said.
“I expect remittances from Kuwait to get a big boost in the data for May and June because of the school enrolment necessities of OFW dependents. It is quite likely that remittances from Kuwait will exceed the $806.48 million recorded in 2017,” Ong enthused.
“We have averted disaster because of the negotiating abilities of the DOLE and OWWA officials who worked on the details of the new labor agreement with Kuwait,” he said.
Kuwait is ranked 10th among the top sources of overseas remittances. The other countries are the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Qatar.