News Release by Migrante International
07 December 2007
Connie Bragas-Regalado, Chairperson
Tel. No.: 0927-215-7392
An alliance of organizations composed of overseas Filipinos and their families today slammed Gloria's inaction over the devastating effect of the rising peso on their sector. At the same time, Migrante International explained that lower prices for basic goods and services can help alleviate the plight of their sector.
“It's the height of inutility for her to stand idly by while OFWs and their families are in a state of calamity from the blows of the rising peso to their stomachs. This is like an intensifying wage cut for OFWs because the value of their remittances keeps dwindling,” says Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante International Chairperson.
“It's also a big lie for Gloria to proclaim that the 'strong peso' means a 'strong economy'. If that were the case, why aren't the prices of food and other items going down? The real problem here is the fact that while their earnings are dwindling, the prices of goods and services keep increasing,” she added.
"The price of oil increases almost weekly and as we approach Christmas, everything else also keeps getting more expensive. For starters, the Arroyo administration can scrap the oil deregulation law to stem the succesive oil price hikes,” says Bragas-Regalado.
Migrante estimates OFWs are losing about 20% of their earnings monthly. As such, an OFW's US$200 monthly remittance went down from about P10,000 to P8,000.
“The P2000 difference is equivalent to one cavan of rice or maybe even the utility bill for an entire month,” noted Bragas-Regalado.
The Migrante leader added that to compensate for their diminishing remittances, OFWs are forced to take loans at high interest rates, work overtime or find second jobs to ensure they are sending home the same amount of pesos.