Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

M-Remittance service launched between the UAE and the Philippines

May 21, 2008

Germany based company, Paybox and Abu Dhabi based Lari Exchange have launched payMAX, the first mobile remittance service from the Middle East to G Cash’s mobile wallet in the Philippines. This is seen as the beginning of a strategic partnership between Paybox Mobiliser Platform and Lari’s experience and network in Remittances to build a mobile remittance platform from the UAE. Middle East has a considerable population comprising of the overseas workers which makes it an ideal destination for such services.

 

The new service is currently available through web screens at the Lari Exchange outlets and is enabling the customers to send immediate cash back home to friends and family in the Philippines by depositing the money in any one of the Lari outlets. They can then request to remit the money in Dirham value to Globe Telecom customers in the Philippines, which will be converted into Filipino pesos and deposited into the beneficiaries’ G Cash wallet. Lari expects to expand its customer base through this move which would also bring in the profits subsequently. Other countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia are also being targeted.

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Measures taken by the Philippine government

May 8, 2008

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In wake of the sudden changes that have rocked the entire Philippine economy, the government has now decided to take some preventive steps to put brakes on the speculations that are doing the rounds that the economy is going to stagnate if the US economy does not recover soon. The high prices of essential commodities including rice which is a staple diet brought a lot of criticism for the government which failed to gauge the magnanimity of the problem. But all’s not lost and the government is now trying to make up for the loss that it suffered in the recent past.

 

The government recently launched Certificates of Deposits (CDs) and is now looking into retail treasury bonds. Philippine Consul General Domingo Nolasco has said that the government is seriously looking at encouraging the Overseas Filippino Workers (OFWs) to invest in the housing sector. The Central Bank has also initiated a financial literacy campaign to promote OFW investments.

 

But it is still not clear whether these initiatives would fetch results because the steps have been proposed and not implemented. Once they are put into practice it would be interesting to see whether they actually help the economy or not. The recent hedge funds for instance met with a lot of criticism because they seemed to be targeting just the business houses and the remittance firms and not the common OFW who has to bear the brunt of the economic pressures that are brewing across the globe.

Peso vs. Dollar

May 6, 2008

Philippines has traditionally been a consumption-led economy. It has depended on Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and remittances sent by the OFWs to meet its needs. As the economists around the world predict doomsday for America, the world watches silently the sudden turnarounds of events which are threatening countries like Philippines.

 

If we take the twin case of peso-dollar exchange rate and the remittance from overseas workers it gets quite apparent that the impending economic slowdown is going to cripple the economy. The peso unlike the Indian rupee has not been appreciating as much. The Central Bank of the country has said that it is allowing market conditions to prevail. In other words it is following the wait and watch strategy. The income of the OFWs is not elastic to combat the situation which has resulted in the sharp increase in the prices of almost everything. The peso lost around 30 per cent of its value against the dollar last year and with economies of several Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and so on facing economic slowdown the situation is evidently acting against the Philippine economy.

 

The bankers are predicting that the peso dollar exchange rate will reach P38 which is an alarming piece of news itself. The scenario calls to mind the Asian Crisis of 1997 which sent shock waves across Asia. Philippines at that point of time took much longer to recover as compared to its neighbouring countries which also suffered loss. The scene is not going to be too different this time around which is quite worrisome.