By Daniel Infante Tuaño
SPAIN – Filipinos in Europe are already complaining of the continuous depreciation of euro.
They can’t help but compare the euro-peso exchange rate 10 years ago, when a euro was pegged at P70. But in March, the euro plummeted to almost P46, making it almost equivalent to one US dollar.
Some Filipinos have to send more euros so their families in the Philippines can receive the same amount they have been receiving every month.
Barcelona resident Bryan Avila sends monthly remittance to his parents in the Philippines.
Avila, married and has two kids, needs to further tighten his belt as he also allots a budget for his family in Barcelona.
“Kontrol ngayon dahil mababa ang rate, sa mga bilihin dito, sa mga gamit ng bata, mga pagkain, mga pambayad ng bahay. Budget na budget talaga,” Avila added.
Other Filipinos resort to reducing their remittance or doing extra jobs like Leonilyn Jabon Noche.
“Hindi na talaga kaya yung gastusin dito, yung bahay natin dito na tinitirahan, hindi katulad sa ibang bansa na Saudi, Hong Kong mas libre yung pagkain, libre yung tinirahan, so parang pareho na rin lang kung iko-compare mo sa ibang bansa,” Noche said.
Roger Rafanan is fully aware of his fellow Filipinos’ plight every time he talks to them in his remittance agency.
Rafanan said usually Filipinos send 50 percent of their salary. But due to the depreciation of the euro, some of them are forced to send more than that even though they are not earning more.
“Dahil instead na budget nila dati, dadagdagan pa nila…Hindi naman tumataas yung sahod,” Rafanan said.
According to economist and financial expert Dr. Ricardo Barcelona of Barcino Capitas Limited, the European Central Bank has implemented a policy that intentionally weakens the euro called quantitative easing, which means the Bank buys more US dollars to depreciate the value of euro against the US dollar.
If the euro becomes weak, exports from Europe will become cheaper, sales will increase, and this will eventually bring economic growth to Europe.
“Dito naman sa Pilipinas, ang policy naman ng Central Bank natin, ang tinitingnan nilang exchange rate is Peso-US dollar. Magpadala ka ng euro, ang ginagawa ng mga bangko papalitan yung euro mo to US dollar, ang US dollar mo ipapalit ng peso. Kapag exchange mo ng euro (equivalent to) 1.05 (dollars) na lang, konti yung dollar na makuha mo, ‘pag palit sa peso konti ang makuha mo,” Barcelona explained.
Filipinos in Europe, he added, should pay more attention at the prevailing euro-US dollar exchange rates.
Nonetheless, Barcelona has a positive forecast for Europe.
In 2015, the value of euro and US dollar will be equal, but in 2016, euro will become stronger again against the dollar and European economy will grow especially the Spanish economy.
Barcelona, on the other hand, reminded that Filipino families should not be dependent on exchange rates but rather learn how to manage the remittances.
He also stressed the positive aspect of “malasakit”, however, in the long run it could be detrimental as some families take advantage of this and can become overly dependent on the remittance.
“Yung isa may malasakit sa familia so positive yun. Ang negative side nyan, aasa na lang tayo. Aasa kay ate. Aasa kay kuya. Yung pangalawa, yung mga remittance natin sa isang period yun na pwede tayong magtrabaho, malakas, healthy pa tayo so gawin natin yang opportunity na mag-ipon. Finally, self-reliance talaga ang importante. The beginning and the end of everything is the initiative from the individual,” Barcelona advised. ABS-CBN
Watch the related TV report aired on Balitang Global, TFC, ABS-CBN: