Total cash remittances from overseas Filipinos for June fell by 4.5 per cent to $2.4 billion (Dh8.81 billion) compared to the same month last year, the Philippine Central Bank said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or Philippine Central Bank, said the countries that registered the biggest declines in cash remittances from overseas Filipinos in June 2018 are the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

“The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) repatriation programme of the government may have partly affected the remittance flows for the month,” the BSP said.

Although the Philippine government had initiated its own programme to repatriate its nationals who are classified as “overstaying,” the governments of UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait had implemented their respective programmes to amnesty overstaying workers, allowing some of them to return to their home countries.

“During the first two months of 2018, a total of 4,149 OFWs were repatriated from UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait,” the BSP said although figures provided by the Philippine Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) are much higher.

In Saudi Arabia alone, Labour Undersecretary Dominado Say said 5,299 Filipino workers were allowed to go home in June.

In Kuwait, nearly 500 Filipinos returned to their home country while the UAE is still continuing with its amnesty programme allowing some Philippine nationals to leave.

On the overall — to include those coming from countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, Qatar, Germany, Hong Kong and Canada — first semester of 2018 cash remittances from overseas Filipinos coursed through banks recorded a 2.7 per cent growth from the same period a year ago to reach $14.2 billion (Dh52.14 billion).

Cash remittances sent by overseas Filipino land-based workers and sea-based workers rose by 2.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent to $11.2 billion (Dh41 billion) and $3.0 billion (Dh11 billion) respectively.