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Is the money flow slowing down?
While remittances to places like India and Pakistan could be hit by the debt crisis in Dubai, the Philippines says it doesn’t expect any declines in money transfers.
December 3, 2009 2:54 by Aarti Nagraj
Officials in the Philippines, however, have said that they don’t expect to see any marked difference in remittances from the UAE. Labor Secretary MarianitoRoque said that many of the Filipino workers received wages which are “on the average, very low.”
“So given that Dubai scenario, my expectation is it would not reduce our numbers in as far as deployment or employment rate is concerned, and it will not have a serious effect on our remittances,” he said.
The central bank has also said that the debt situation in Dubai will not affect the money being sent home by around 200,000 Filipino workersin the emirate.
“I don’t believe there would be a significant adverse impact on flows to the country in the near term,” Philippine central bank governor AmandoTetangco told reporters last week.”There continues to be construction and growth in the rest of the Middle East, particularly in Saudi Arabia. That should provide a window of opportunity for any workers who may be displaced.”
Roquehas also said that the Philippine government will help Filipinos find alternate employment opportunities in the other emirates if they get affected by the problem in Dubai. “We can look at potential employment also in the gulf region, where they’re still increasing employment opportunities so that they may find even better employment opportunities or even higher wages, let’s say in Qatar, Bahrain, Oman or even Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Remittances account for around 10 percent of Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) and according to the central bank, the amount sent by overseas Filipinos is expected to increase 4 percent this year from last year’s $16.4 billion.
Around $218 million was remitted by Filipino workers in the Middle East in September this year.
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