Saturday, December 8, 2007

OFWs Dollar Remittances

OFW’s sent dollar remittances to the country so the economy will be strong but as a consequence, their families suffer drastically because the exchange rate is rapidly declining and the value of their hard-earned dollars cannot cope with the prices of commodities that keep on rising endlessly.
Does GMA and her economic managers need to have masteral and doctorate degrees to understand this problem?
Well, heroes do suffer…and die. That’s how this sick government treat OFW’s. Corruption outpaces by a hundred-fold the program to alleviate the sufferings of the poor - OFW from Cebu


Warning aired on strong peso
From: The Philippine Star

As the Arroyo administration revels in the peso’s robust growth, Sen. Manuel Roxas II is calling for a comprehensive government aid program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and domestic industries hurt by the local currency’s upsurge.
Roxas, chairman of the Senate committee on trade and commerce, warned that the situation – if not promptly addressed – would result in the displacement of thousands of workers in the export and production sectors.
"Walk the talk. Where’s the ‘social payback’ due our people?" he asked. "OFWs and exporters have been complaining for months about decreased incomes, and have been demanding action from their government to ease their plight," Roxas said.
"The government could not afford to be oblivious not just to the immediate hardships of our eight million OFWs and 3.5 million exporters but also to the real threat of lost incomes and jobs in local industries due to this continuing trend," he said.
The peso closed at 41.74 to the dollar last Friday, or 16 percent stronger than the P49.13 level as of end-2006. The peso is at its strongest since May 2000, when the exchange rate was 41.73 against the dollar.
The local currency is expected to strengthen further in the coming days as OFWs continue to remit earnings ahead of the Christmas season and as the US dollar continues to soften. Administration officials called the strengthening of the peso a sign of a stable local economy.
President Arroyo had said she would not intervene to arrest the peso’s advance.
Roxas, however, pointed out that it’s the government’s duty to regularly assess economic situations and shape its policy accordingly.
On the positive side, a stronger peso means lower interest and principal payments for foreign debts, which comprise roughly half of the country’s total obligations.
It can also mean lower borrowing cost for companies, as well as cheaper import component for locally produced goods. Roxas himself said the strong peso tempered the rise in oil prices.
But he decried the smaller profits of exporters as well as the influx of cheaper imported goods, which threaten to edge local products out of the market and leave countless without jobs.
"I’d like to see a concrete, workable plan on how to deal with possible shutting down of firms, plants and factories, or even massive layoffs, in case of a further strengthening of the peso that would put local goods at a disadvantage to those from abroad," he said.

Fixed peso-dollar exchange rate for OFWs proposed

MANILA, Philippines -- To help the families of overseas Filipino workers cope with a lower value for dollars remitted to them, the Development Bank of the Philippines has proposed a fixed peso-dollar exchange rate for them over a specific period, Labor Secretary Arturo Brion said Monday.
In an interview with reporters, Brion said former labor secretary and now DBP chairman Patricia Sto. Tomas made the "forward cover" proposal recently.
Under the proposal, dollar deposits within a given period, "perhaps a year," will be entitled to a fixed exchange rate.
In his speech before the 2007 Maritime Convention at The Esplanade, Brion also asked the employers -- in this case, ship owners and manning agencies -- to find ways to isolate the OFWs' remittances to the "vagaries and uncertainties of the currency exchange rate."
"I urge you to make it part of your conscious corporate efforts to give the highest value possible for the hard-earned incomes of our overseas Filipino workers," the labor secretary said.
Brion praised the shipping industry for its "good social practices," including the efficient remittance of salaries and the support systems for families of seafarers. He said 80 percent of seafarers' salaries are remitted back home.
The value of the dollar (the currency against which most OFWs' salaries are pegged) has been going down over the past several months, and OFWs and their families have asked the government to intervene in the market on their behalf.

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