Linggo, Enero 13, 2013

Strong Peso Worries OFWs

      Last 2012, analysts could already see the increase in value of the Philippine Peso by year 2013. Others were thrilled by the news thinking that this is a good sign of economic improvement. However, others think the exact opposite. They think that the rising of the Philippine Peso value is bad for the economy. According to them, peso appreciation might result to decline of competitiveness among the industries in the country and will surely reduce the spending power of the OFW-dependent families in the Philippines.

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    This year 2013, the country's economists are positive when the Philippine Peso was ranked as the second highest top performing currencies. On the other hand, the Overseas Filipino Workers are quite worried thinking that the weakening of dollar might bring bad effect to their families back home. In one article, an OFW named Karl Javellana Balan who works in Dubai, said that he sees no positive benefits that a stronger peso will bring to ordinary Filipinos, especially those who are working abroad.
"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 in Dubai, he said that many of his fellow Filipino workers, especially those who have families to support in our country., are complaining because the value of their hard-earned money becomes lesser and lesser when they send it in the Philippines. In an online interview, Balan added,
"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." 
    With this arising complaints, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) encourages the OFWs to start saving and investing their income. However, another OFW named Kris Calvo, who is working in Malaysia for barely a year, shrugged of BSP's suggestion. According to her, she earns barely enough to send money to her family in the Philippines, therefore there would be nothing left for her to save. Though the government admits that a number of sectors will be affected by the rise of the peso value, they also emphasize that peso appreciation is good for our country's economy as a whole.

     In my opinion, it's really hard to tell whether what is good for the economy. Whichever way, there's always someone to complain. I just hope that the so-called economic improvement through the peso appreciation will not just be seen in numbers but also in concrete evidence. Though the OFW remittance will surely be affected, the government should take a stand in proving to us citizens that the Philippine economy is improving just like the news are trying to tell us now. Lastly, I just hope that OFWs will be more optimistic of the situation. They should know that progress in life doesn't always need  to depend on the Peso-Dollar exchange rate but in their hardwork and discipline.