The value of OFW remittances from Japan increased by 11.5 percent in 2016 to reach $1.4 billion, accounting for 5.1 percent of the total remittances of $26.9 billion for the year, after dropping 14 percent the previous year, according to the Philippine Central Bank data.
The appreciation of the Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar was one of the contributors in the recorded trend, ABS-CBN News quoted Rosabel B. Guerrero, the director of the central bank’s department of statistics, as saying.
“Since remittances are reported in US dollars, remittances from Japan when converted to US dollars increase as the yen appreciates,” Guerrero reportedly said.
“Another factor that could contribute to higher remittances is the increase in the number of overseas Filipinos remitting to the Philippines,” she added.
While the government’s tally of Filipino workers in Japan for 2016 has yet to be made available, a steady increase has been recorded annually from 2010 to 2015, the report said.
According to the government-run Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, the number of Filipinos working in Japan increased 10.5 percent in 2015, despite accounting only for 1 percent of the recorded total deployment.
“The increase in deployment could be due to increasing demand for foreign workers to fill in the labor shortage,” she added, citing reports that Japan is looking to fill in more jobs through foreign labor.
Guerrero said that from 2010 to 2015, the increase in remittances from Japan has been pegged at an annual average of 9.7 percent.
In 2016, remittances from Japan ranked as the second largest of those sent home to the Philippines by workers in Asian countries, surpassed only by those from Singapore, where remittances totaled $1.7 billion.
Overall, remittances from the United States were highest at $8.9 billion, followed by those from Saudi Arabia at $2.6 billion and the United Arab Emirates at $2.2 billion, reported ABS-CBN News.