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Philippine remittances come in at $29.9bn, defying COVID

400,000-worker repatriation raises questions over sustainability of cash inflow

Repatriated overseas Philippine workers arrive at an airport in Metro Manila on May 26, 2020.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Cash remittances from Filipinos working overseas dropped 0.8% to $29.9 billion last year, defying expectations of a sharper fall due to the pandemic, the country's central bank said on Monday.

However, the repatriation of over 400,000 workers amid the raging global health crisis has raised concerns of whether the remittance inflows -- a lifeline to a Philippine economy that shrank by a record 9.5% last year -- can sustain their strength.

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