BSP sees softer decline in remittances, sharper drop in tourism revenues for 2020

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By: CNN Philippines

Easing quarantine rules will usher in more dollar inflows for the Philippines, but tourism and trade will suffer bigger declines than expected for this year, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.

The central bank released its updated economic forecasts on Wednesday, where it expects increased dollar receipts through foreign direct investments and cash remittances than previously expected.

Remittances are seen to slow down by 2%, softer than the 5% slump projected in June as Filipinos based abroad are expected to show some resilience despite the global COVID-19 crisis. The push mainly comes from a “strong rebound” seen in June and July as workers’ host economies start to reopen.

Remittances fund the spending needs and even luxuries of millions of families in the country. By 2021, cash inflows from overseas Filipinos is seen to grow by 4%.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said OFWs appear to be “truly altruistic” despite tougher times abroad.

Meanwhile, tourism will record the steepest crash, projected at 65% or just one-third of 2019 revenues, the BSP said. A 12% recovery is seen for 2021.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a media briefing that while she cannot give exact figures on sectoral losses, some 4.8 million tourism workers have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Foreign tourist arrivals have also plunged, spelling a 77% drop in travel receipts.


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