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Fall in remittances to Philippines from Middle East

Saudi Arabia tops in hiring Filipino workers in region

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 24: Remittances of Filipino expatriates from the Middle East have reduced by 15.3 percent to reach $6.62 billion in 2018, compared to $7.81 billion in 2017, reports Al-Qabas daily According to a report published on Arab News website which was based on official data released by the Philippines, remittances of Filipino expatriates from Kuwait dropped 14.5 percent last year to reach $689.61 million from $806.48 million in 2017.

Sources say the fall in oil prices and the replacement plans adopted by a number of Gulf countries as well as the ban on sending domestic workers to Kuwait last year were the main reasons for the decline in the remittances sent to the Philippines from the Middle East. A government study highlighted that Saudi Arabia tops in hiring Filipino workers in the region, with more than a quarter of the total number of expatriates in the Middle East, followed by the UAE in second place with 15.3 percent, Kuwait 6.7 percent and Qatar 5.5 percent.

The remittances of Filipino expatriates from Saudi Arabia decreased by 11.1 percent in 2018 to $2.23 billion compared to $2.51 billion in 2017. The remittances from the UAE dropped by 19.9 percent to reach $2.03 billion compared to $2.54 billion in 2017. There was also a drop of 9.2 percent from in remittances to the Philippines from Qatar reaching $1 billion compared to $1.1 billion in 2017.

Remittances from the Sultanate of Oman (which carries out a program to resettle jobs like Saudi Arabia and the UAE) fell by 33.8 percent to reach $228.74 million in 2018 compared to $345.41 million in 2017. At the same time, the total remittances of Filipino workers in Bahrain increased by 2.2 percent to reach $234.14 million in 2018 compared to $229 million in 2017. Total remittances of Filipino workers increased by 3 percent to reach $32.2 billion in 2018, constituting 9.7 percent of the total GDP of the Philippines in 2018.

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