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Dollar remittances of OFWs seen to increase in 2017

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, March 20th, 2017

MANILA — Cash remittances of overseas Filipino workers is expected to increase in 2017.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) believes so after cash remittances have increased by 8.6 percent at the start of 2017.

Based on preliminary data from the BSP, the amount of remittances recorded in January 2017 has reached 2.169 billion U.S. dollars which is greater than the 1.997 billion U.S. dollars in the same period last year.

Remittances from Filipinos based in oil-producing countries like Qatar, one of the biggest oil producers in the world, contributed a lot.

“We should also expect steady or stable demand for our overseas Filipino workers particularly in the Middle East, the oil-producing, oil-exporting countries. Especially the skills diversification of our overseas workers, and new markets that have been developed in the last few years,” said BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo.

According to BSP, the growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines can also contribute to the dollar remittances.

“The expansion is the question. The uncertainty is whether they will expand or not, but I don’t think they will pull out and they will remain,” said  Guinigundo.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas believes that the government’s campaign against illegal drugs and criminality contributes to the increase of foreign investors in the country since peace and order is a big issue for them. —  Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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HOR increases BSP’s capital, strengthens its regulatory power

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

FILE PHOTO: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

 

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House of Representatives has approved on second reading House Bill 7742, “which seeks to give more muscle to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP.)

The proposed law aims “to reinforce BSP’s corporate viability, strengthen its monetary and financial stability functions and enhance its regulatory powers.”

The bill would also amend RA 7653 or the “New Central Bank Act.”

Among the amendments include an increase in the capital of the BSP from the present P50 billion to P200 billion.

“The bill likewise empowers the Monetary Board to authorize entities or persons to engage on money service businesses.”

The BSP shall also have the authority to require from any person or entity “any data for statistical and policy development purposes in relation to the proper discharge of its functions and responsibilities although the release of such data shall be subject to prevailing confidentiality laws.” – UNTV News & Rescue

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PHL, Kuwait sign agreement over OFW protection

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Saturday, May 12th, 2018

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah sign the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11, 2018 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kuwait. (DFA photo)

Filipino workers in Kuwait would now receive additional protection following the signing of an agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait.

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al Hamad Al Sabah signed the Agreement of the Employment of Domestic Workers on May 11.

The signing was also witnessed by Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and other Philippines government officials led by Special Envoy Mohammad Mama-o.

The agreement ensures, among others, that Filipino domestic workers have access to prompt legal assistance whenever necessary.

It also states that Kuwaiti employers will provide domestic workers with food, housing, clothing and health insurance. They are not allowed to confiscate the passport of their employees and that OFWs shall be allowed the use of cellphones; at least 7 hours of sleep; and one day off weekly with pay. — UNTV News & Rescue

 

 

 

 

 

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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to be signed on May 11

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) returning home from the Middle East (PHOTOVILLE International)

 

KUWAIT– The Philippine delegation to Kuwait confirmed that a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on the protection of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State will be signed on Friday, May 11.

Speaking in a press conference on Wednesday night, May 9, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said both governments finally have agreed on the provisions of the MOA on the welfare and protection of Filipino workers in Kuwait.

“Tatlo pong mga cabinet secretary o ministers dito sa Kuwait ang aming nakausap,” Roque said. “Dito naman po kay Ministry of Labor ang napag-usapan talaga ay iyong tungkol doon sa Memorandum of Agreement na pipirmahan na.”

(We spoke with three cabinet secretaries or ministers in Kuwait. We discussed the signing of Memorandum of Agreement with the Ministry of Labor.)

The provisions in the proposed MOA on OFW protection included the ones President Rodrigo Duterte expected to be in the agreement. First is the condition that passports of  OFWs should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy; second, OFWs will be given one day off weekly with pay; third, OFWs will be allowed at least 7 hours of sleep every night; fourth, OFWs should be provided a proper and healthy meals.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said though the Kuwaiti government agreed, he admitted that the other party was adamant at first over the said provisions.

“Iyon ang naging mainit na debate, iyong passport dahil (The passport issue triggered a heated debate because) initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. Pero ang sabi nila hindi na kailangang ilagay sa MOU iyan, basta we will agree. So our technical working group insisted na kailangan nandun sa MOU. Finally, after a heated argument nag-agree na sila,” Bello explained.

(The passport issue triggered a heated debate because initially they agreed that the passport should be deposited with the Philippine Embassy. But they said “There’s no need to include it in the MOU. We will just agree.” So our technical working group insisted on including it in the MOU. They finally agreed after a heated argument.)

The Kuwaiti government has created a special police unit that works 24/7 to respond to reports of distressed OFWs, according to Roque.

Meanwhile, Kuwait has released the four Filipino drivers who accompanied embassy officials in the controversial rescue mission last month. Roque assured that the four will not be deported and they are cleared of charges.

Alongside these developments, the Philippine officials also confirmed that the Kuwaiti government allowed the repatriation of the 600 distressed OFWs in the Gulf State. One hundred fifty of them will be going home together with the Philippine delegation.

“Maiiwan iyong 62 kasi may kaso pa. Pero yung walang kaso pauuwiin na nila at their expense. Nabigla nga kami, napasipa ako kay Sec. Roque nung sinabi na at their expense. So that is a bonus na unexpected talaga,” Bello said.

(The 62 OFWs with pending cases will remain while the rest will be sent home at their (Kuwait’s) expense. We were so surprised by the offer that I nudged Sec. Roque, when they said “at their expense.” It was a really unexpected bonus.)

Meanwhile, newly appointed special envoy to Kuwait Abdullah Mama-O is expected to arrive to Kuwait today, May 10, for the finalization of the agreement before the official signing tomorrow, May 11. – Mirasol Abogadil / Marje Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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