Davao OFWs worried of stronger peso-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
WHILE country's economists are positive after the Philippine peso has been ranked as Asia's second top performing currencies next to South Korean won in 2012, some Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Davao City are quite apprehensive of the possible effects that the weakening dollar value might bring to their family back home.
With this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) urged OFWs and their families to start saving and investing to generate passive income.
Karl Javellana Balan, who works for an insurance brokerage in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UEA), in an online interview said he sees no positive benefits the news about the strong peso will do to OWFs.
Balan said a strong and high-value currency won't do no good to ordinary Filipinos, especially to OFWS if the government, won’t do long-term solutions to the country's poverty problems.
"If our government officials are still corrupt and won't change their ways, it won't make any difference. It affects a lot of OFW families since the value of dollars or dirham for that matter is lesser, but the prices of basic commodities in the Philippines if not the same is still going higher," Balan said.
For three years as an OFW, and after the continued depreciation of US dollar he said many of his fellow OWFs in Dubai, especially those who have family to support in the Philippines, are complaining since the value their hard-earned money in the Philippine is getting lesser when they send it over.
Balan said some of his fellow OWFs in Dubai even hinted going home to the Philippines when the situation continues for the coming months.
"Sad lang paminawon murag wala na gani pag-asa (It's sad hearing their sentiments it seems that there's no more hope)," Balan said.
He said he doesn't want to sound pessimist, but that's what he and his fellow OWF see as a reality.
"To be honest I can't totally feel its impact since I still don't have a family to support back in the Philippines. But many of my fellow OFWs here are already complaining about the depreciating US dollar and the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities in the Philippines," Balan said.
Allen Kris Calvo, another OFW working for barely a year in Malaysia, echoed the same sentiment as Balan saying that the strong peso means a lesser remittance they send home to feed their family back home.
But Calvo shruged off BSP's suggestion, saying that she earns barely enough to sustain her family in the Philippines.
"Walay impact na sa amoa kay ang amo mga sahod igo ra ipdala sa pamilya (It has no effect on our part since our salary is just enough for our family back home)," Calvo said.
Calvo said the improving performance of the Philippine peso offers no good opportunity for ordinary OFWs like her, who rely on high-valued US dollar.
But the government stresses that the appreciation of the peso is beneficial to the country's economy but admittedly said many sectors will be affected by this.
Both Balan and Calvo's families are based in Davao City.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 08, 2013.