World Bank: PH is 3rd largest recipient of remittances

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The Philippines' remittances grew 5.3 percent in 2017.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 24) — The Philippines is the world's third highest recipient of remittances, according to a report from the World Bank.

On Monday, the World Bank said remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached US$466 billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5 percent since the previous year. The top remittance recipient is India with $69 billion, followed by China at $64 billion, and the Philippines at $33 billion (₱1.731 trillion).

Mexico followed with $31 billion in received remittances, and then Nigeria at $21 billion.

"The stronger than expected recovery in remittances is driven by growth in Europe, the Russian Federation, and the United States. The rebound in remittances, when valued in U.S. dollars, was helped by higher oil prices and a strengthening of the euro and ruble," the Bank's statement read.

The country's remittances grew 5.3 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, the East Asia and Pacific region also rebounded from a 2.6 percent decline in 2016 to a 5.8 percent increase — hitting $130 billion.

Global remittances are expected to increase this year, by 4.1 percent.

However, the Bank warned of longer-term risks to remittance growth such as rate increases in transferring fund rates, as well as stricter immigration policies in countries where remittances are sent from.

The report said the average cost of sending $200 globally was 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the average cost hits as high as 9.4 percent.

"While remittances are growing, countries, institutions, and development agencies must continue to chip away at high costs of remitting so that families receive more of the money. Eliminating exclusivity contracts to improve market competition and introducing more efficient technology are high-priority issues," said Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report.

Established in 1944, the World Bank provides financial and technical aid to developing countries around the world.