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Dollar remittances of OFWs seen to increase in 2017

by admin   |   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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BSP: 3.8% PH inflation rate in Q1 2019 falls within target

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, April 26th, 2019

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Friday reported that the country’s headline inflation finally eased within the two to four percent target range of the government in the first quarter of 2019.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the inflation further slowed to 3.8 percent from 5.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Inflation means the rate of increase in prices of goods and services.

The latest figure compares with the 3.8 percent inflation rate reported in the same quarter of 2018.

“Inflation is now within the target range of the government of 2 to 4 percent,” Diokno said at BSP’s inflation quarterly briefing in Manila on Friday.

The BSP said the improved food supply conditions in the first quarter of this year led to the deceleration of consumer prices in the country.

In the latest BSP quarterly inflation report, the March inflation rate settled at 3.3 percent as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority last April 5. It was much slower than the 3.8 percent recorded in February and the lowest since January 2018 at 3.4 percent.

READ: PH inflation fate further eases to 3.3% in March

Based on data provided by the BSP, food inflation slowed to 4.1 percent from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The slower pace of increases in goods and services was driven by lower costs of food and non-alcoholic beverages, among others. 

Although the inflation rate is broadly seen to slow further in the coming months, the agency said there could be price pressures should El Niño turn out longer than expected.

The BSP added that aside from the adverse impact of weather conditions such as El Niño, the volatile global oil prices and foreign exchange market, and higher electricity rates remain as the key upside risks to inflation.

“While the risks to the inflation outlook are assessed to be evenly balanced this year, the BSP notes that further risks could emerge from a prolonged El Niño weather condition and higher-than-expected increase in global oil and food prices. For 2020, the risks lean toward the downside amid a slowdown in global economic activity,” Diokno said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier announced that 11 provinces in Luzon and six provinces in the Visayas may experience drought by end of May due to prolonged weak El Niño.

READ: PAGASA: 17 provinces face drought due to El Niño

Latest data from the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) showed damage and losses from the persistent weak El Niño to have reached P7.96 billion. This covers damage in 277,890 hectares of agricultural areas that have affected 247,610 farmers and fisherfolks.

READ: El Niño damage to agriculture hits P8-B

BSP Assistant Governor Francisco Dakila, Jr., meanwhile, assured that they will be assessing the impact of the prolonged drought, as it may be counted as among the factors that could hasten price increases of basic goods. — Robie de Guzman (with details from April Cenedoza)

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Banknotes with Diokno’s ‘worm looking’ signature out by June

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno (right) and his signature (left)

MANILA, Philippines – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno disclosed on Sunday (March 31) that the initial batch of Philippine banknotes bearing his signature will soon be in circulation some time in June this year.

President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Diokno as head the BSP shortly after former BSP Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. succumbed to cancer in February 23.

It was in December 2017 when the BSP released banknotes bearing Espenilla’s signature, just five months after he assumed office in July 2017.

Banknotes bearing the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte were released by the BSP in December 2016, six months after he took office.

Though Diokno admits that the style of his signature could be easily forged, he is confident of the added security features that the BSP applied to the Philippine banknotes.

He said he used to have a more complicated signature but due to the loads of school papers when he was still a professor in the University of the Philippines, he got tired of using it.

He said he has no plans at all of changing his distinctive autograph.

“This is not a shortcut version, mukang lang talagang tatlong bulate (it just happened to look like three worms),” he quipped. – Marje Pelayo

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SSS reminds members of new table of monthly contribution

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

The Social Security System (SSS) has issued a reminder to all members of the new table of contribution.

Through its Twitter account, the agency announced the new SSS Contribution Table that took effect on Monday (April 1) for the applicable month of April 2019.

The new system in payment of monthly contribution is presented in three tables: one is for those who are Employed, Self-Employed, Voluntary Members and Non-Working Spouse; for Household Employers and kasambahay; and for OFW Members.

Members with advance payments at the minimum monthly salary credit (MSC) of P1,000 shall settle underpayments amounting to P6.00 per month; otherwise, such advance payment shall be deemed as ineffective contributions. 

Meanwhile, OFW members with advanced payment at the minimum MSC of 5,000 shall settle underpayments at P30.00 per month.

On the other hand, those with advance payments at an MSC other than the minimum may opt to pay the corresponding increase in contributions to retain posting at the same MSC; otherwise, such advance payment shall be posted at the applicable lower MSC. – Maris Federez

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