OFW remittances recover in June after three-month decline —BSP

Marje Pelayo   •   August 18, 2020   •   330

MANILA, Philippines – Personal remittances from overseas Filipinos (OFs) bounced back in June after three consecutive months of decline, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced Monday (August 17).

According to the report, remittances from OFs increased by 7.6% in June 2020 to US$2.737 billion from US$2.545 billion in June 2019. 

The growth was attributed mostly to the remittances from land-based workers with work contracts of one year or more.

However, cash in-flows from sea-based workers dropped by 13.1% from US$593 million in June 2019 to US$515 million this year “due to the repatriation of many sea-based workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

By country source, remittances for January to June 2020 from the United States, Japan, Singapore, Oman, and Taiwan were among the countries that registered continued growth.

However, the highest decline in OF remittances was noted in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Germany, and the United Kingdom.   

The highest share to total OF remittances at 39.7% for January to June 2020 emanated from the US, followed by Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, UK, UAE, Canada, Hongkong, Qatar, and Taiwan.

The combined remittances from these countries accounted for 78.9% of total cash remittances.

DFA: 49 new recoveries, no new deaths among overseas Filipinos from COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   September 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – No new fatalities among overseas Filipinos were reported on Wednesday (September 9) according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The death toll attributed to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among Filipinos abroad remains at 763.

Also, 49 overseas Filipinos have fully recovered, bringing the total number of those who survived to 6,382. Most of them were logged in Europe (32), the Asia Pacific (9), and eight in the Middle East and Africa.

However, 15 new confirmed cases were reported in the Americas and the Middle East and Africa region, bringing the total to 10,151.

According to the DFA, a total of 3,006 Filipino COVID-19 patients abroad are currently undergoing treatment.

The total number of countries and regions with confirmed cases among Filipinos remains at 74.

Aside from monitoring cases abroad, the DFA is also focused on the repatriation of distressed Filipino overseas who are affected by the pandemic.

DFA reports first Filipino COVID-19 fatality in Israel

Marje Pelayo   •   September 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed on Tuesday (September 1) the demise of a 65-year-old Filipino lady from coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the first Filipino to die of the disease in Israel.

The Filipina was reported to have succumbed to COVID-19 on August 23. 

On the other hand, the Embassy was pleased to announce that 39 out of 46 Filipinos who had tested positive with COVID-19 in the Gulf State have recovered and have been discharged from the hospital or quarantine facilities.

As part of the government’s response to the pandemic, the Embassy is continuously providing cash assistance of US$200 to 33 out of 40 eligible cases, as well as food packs/groceries, medicines, vitamins, surgical masks and gloves under the program of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). 

This is apart from the DOLE-AKAP financial assistance of US$200 to US$588 to overseas Filipinos who lost their jobs during the pandemic.

The embassy is also assisting returning Filipinos with the issuance of the needed travel documents and facilitating the processing of their arrival and quarantine procedures. 

Philippine representatives in Israel are also constantly coordinating with concerned local authorities regarding the Voluntary Repatriation Program (VRP) for overstaying Filipinos.

Despite the challenges, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Nathaniel Imperial said the Embassy remains open and ready to assist Filipinos in the country for whatsoever assistance they need.

“Even with the prolonged duration of the pandemic, the Embassy continues to operate by appointment to serve the consular needs of the Filipino community in Israel,” the Ambassador said.

“The Embassy has remained open for consular operations and in compliance with the Ministry of Health (MOH) protocols, has only allowed a limited number of clients to enter the premises,” he said.

BSP consumer chatbot now on live run to address complaints vs financial institutions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 20, 2020

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has fully deployed its consumer chatbox which aims to address complaints against BSP-Supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs).

The chatbot called the BSPS Online Buddy (BOB) can efficiently handle queries sent through the webchat in the BSP Website, SMS, or social media. BOB can also respond to queries and complaints in English, Tagalog or Taglish.

BOB may be accessed through the following: 

  1. BSP Webchat –  http://www.bsp.gov.ph/]
  2. SMS – 21582277 (for Globe subscribers only; BOB will also be made available for other network subscribers soon)
  3. BSP Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BangkoSentralngPilipinas/

“Aside from enhancing BSP’s quality of service, BOB empowers financial consumers by giving them a more accessible channel for raising complaints. This is in line with BSP’s commitment to pursue innovations in financial services for the benefit of Filipinos,” according to BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno. -AAC

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