As the global virus outbreak hit every sector of the economy, remittances of the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are being hit hard by Covid-19 as thousands of Filipinos have been returning from countries around the world.
According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), they expect the remittances to shrink for the first time in almost two decades. The central bank expect cash remittances to contract by 0.2 to 0.8 percentage point this year.
Over 86,000 OFWs were reported to have received government assistance with over 230,000 pending applications for aid. As countries are constantly being hit by the effects of the global pandemic, An estimated 300,000 to 400,000 have suffered layoffs and pay cuts with some 45,000 expected to return home by the end of June.
On the other hand, many OFWs are in the essential services such as doctors, nurses, medical technologists, engineers, and information technology experts contributing to the worldwide efforts to end the pandemic But whether oil prices fall in Saudi Arabia or the United States now being the epicenter of the pandemic, OFW have been greatly suffering the effects on the economies of nations around the world. There is no indication of it stopping anytime soon and we will have to accept the fact that OFW and the remittance sector as among the worst impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our economy.