Food, education and medical budgets were still among the top expenses made by Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families, according to the latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The BSP said food accounted for 96.2 percent of total expenses, the highest since the second quarter of 2022 while medical expenses reached 57.2 percent, the highest in the past five years.
Education expenses, meanwhile, slowed to 67.3 percent in the first three months of 2023 from 68.5 percent in the last quarter of 2022.
“OFW remittances are still mainly used for food and other household needs, education, and medical expenses in the first quarter of 2023,” BSP said.
The data also showed OFW remittances were also allocated to purchase houses and vehicles as well as make investments. More OFW households also saved in the first quarter of 2023.
Based on the data, 12.9 percent of OFW households used the remittances to purchase houses—the highest since the first quarter of 2020 when it reached 13.6 percent.
OFW remittances were allocated by 8.4 percent of households to make investments while 5.6 percent purchased cars and other motor vehicles in the first quarter of 2023.
Some 43 percent or almost half of OFW households were able to use remittances to save in the first quarter of 2023. This was the highest since the first quarter of 2020 when it was at 44.7 percent.
“In terms of the utilization pattern of remittances by area, a larger percentage of OFW households in the NCR [National Capital Region] allotted part of their remittances to savings, purchase of consumer durables, and investments as opposed to their counterparts in AONCR [Areas Outside NCR],” BSP said.
In the first quarter of 2023, BSP data showed 97.5 percent of households that received remittances had OFW members. In NCR, this was only at 96.5 percent while in AONCR, this was higher at 98.3 percent.
In the first quarter of the 2023 CES, BSP said 5,467 households were surveyed. A total of 2,729 households or 49.9 percent were from the NCR and 2,738 or 50.1 percent percent were from AONCR.
The middle-income group of households or those earning P10,000 to P29,999 a month comprised the largest percentage of respondents at 39.8 percent.
This was followed by the high-income group which earned P30,000 and over and comprised 34.5 percent of respondents; and the low-income group, earning less than P10,000 a month, accounting for 25.7 percent of respondents.
Source: Business Mirror