Overseas Filipino workers benefit from peso depreciation
Several Filipinos said they are able to send more money back home as the Philippines' currency weakens
The depreciation of the Philippine peso has benefited the more than 10 million Filipinos working abroad as they are able to send more money back home.
Aileen Almazan, 37, a Filipino working in Singapore, said now was the best time to send money to the Philippines as it would mean she has more to spend when she visits Manila, Bloomberg reported.
Marlyn de la Cruz, 51, a Filipino domestic worker in Hong Kong, said the depreciation helped provide more money to her family with which to pay their household expenses.
The peso was trading at around 52 to the US dollar on Thursday; a year earlier, a greenback could be had for 50 pesos.
However, the weakening currency does not stop the cost of living from rising in the Philippines.
“The exchange rate is higher when you convert into pesos, but the money will also buy you less goods. The weaker peso helps only to a certain extent,” de la Cruz said.
In February, the inflation rate rose to 4.5%, the highest in more than three years, Rappler reported.
Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the government aimed to reduce the poverty rate in the Philippines from 21.6% to 14% by 2022, and eventually eradicate extreme poverty by 2040.
Dennis Mapa, the dean of the University of the Philippines’ School of Statistics, said higher inflation among the poor was a threat to the government’s poverty-reduction efforts.
The Philippines is one of the world’s largest remittance recipients, as there are more than 10 million Filipinos working abroad.