It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—with the incoming holiday rush of remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
According to the National Economic and Development Authority, remittances will hit a yearly high in December as migrant workers send home cash for the Christmas holidays. In December 2021, former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor, Benjamin Diokno, said personal remittances reached a record high of $3.3 billion USD, the highest monthly level since tracking began in 2005.
“This Christmas, we are expecting money transfers to increase as OFWs prepare for the holiday with their loved ones from overseas. Sending money for an important cultural event like Christmas is an easy, fast and safe way to participate in festivities for those who can’t make it home to be with friends and family,” said Earl Melivo, Interim APAC Managing Director of WorldRemit.
Luckily, there are still many ways for OFWs to feel included during this time of the year. For one, technology can instantly connect OFWs to loved ones during holiday events like Noche Buena and simbang gabi via teleconferencing and livestreaming services. Preparing activities for OFWs to participate in, such as an online game or quiz night, can make virtual Christmas parties with loved ones more meaningful and fun.
With growing Filipino communities abroad, stores selling hard-to-find local products and ingredients have become more common. This makes preparing an authentic Filipino spread easier for those missing the taste of home. Buying traditional decorations like the parol—even making them from scratch, can help set the mood too.
Sending personalized virtual gifts like digital cards and homemade video presentations can also go a long way in spreading cheer for those unable to celebrate together. With rising inflation, OFWs working in countries with a high-value currency, have the ability to get more value out of the remittances sent home – especially with Christmas around the corner.
As a leading cross-border digital payments channel, WorldRemit’s robust payout network in the Philippines allows recipients remit from partner centers, banks, and mobile wallets. As an ever-reliable online service, WorldRemit operates 24/7, even during Christmas.
“WorldRemit is here even for those who might have forgotten or have been unable to send home gifts until the last minute. We are aware of the difficulties many are facing at home and abroad, so we’re here to make things easier by being there whenever you need us,” Melivo added.