High remittance costs are limiting the gains that migration delivers to poor and developing countries, the World Bank said, but the Philippines appears to be an exception.
In a report, the World Bank said remittance fees to the Philippines were among the lowest in East Asia and the Pacific, in particular tagging the process of sending $200 from Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Spain and Malaysia as the “5 lowest cost corridors”.
At an average of 3.5 percent, this was significantly lower than the 15 percent for Thailand, which accounted for 4 of the 5 highest cost corridors. These involved sending money to Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos and China, with the fifth going to South Africa for transactions involving China.
The World Bank also noted that the Philippines saw remittances grow by 3.1 percent last year to $33.8 billion, lower than the 5.1 percent posted in 2017, as a result of a 15-percent drop in private transfers from the Middle East.
The country was the second-highest recipient of remittances in East Asia and the Pacific, next only to China’s $67.4 billion.
Overall, the Philippines was fourth behind India ($78.6 billion), China and Mexico ($35.7 billion).
As a percentage of gross domestic product, the Philippines ranked fourth in East Asia and the Pacific with remittances accounting for 10.2 percent, behind Tonga (35.2 percent), Samoa (16.1 percent) and the Marshall Islands (13 percent). — The Manila Times