Roxas: $500M RP bond offer aggravates OFW plight

Saturday, February 2, 2008 | posted in , , , , | 0 comments

Senator Mar Roxas today cautioned government fiscal managers regarding the recent floatation of $500 million in sovereign bonds, saying this aggravates the plight of Overseas Filipino Workers and exporters in light of the strengthening peso versus the dollar.

He called on the government to exercise greater prudence in foreign borrowings and to look more carefully into the effect of such moves on the peso-dollar exchange rate, and consequently, on OFWs, exporters, business process outsourcing and the tourism industry.

We are shooting ourselves on the foot by bringing in more dollars into the system, which is already flooded by dollars,” he said.

We are no longer in ‘fiscal crisis’ mode and local interest rates are at an all time low; why do we still have to borrow in dollars?” he asked.

Roxas earlier proposed that in order to help OFWs and other dollar-earners—who are now earning 20% less in pesos compared to the previous year—the government should instead borrow in pesos than in dollars to roll-over or amortize its existing debt.

The Finance department responded by announcing that it would increase peso borrowings by P20 billion and decrease foreign borrowings by the same amount, which Roxas described as “not enough.”

Kung ang remittances ng ating 8 bilyong OFW kada taon ay $12 bilyon, $1,500 ang tinatanggap ng bawat OFW. Kung noong nakaraang taon ay P76,500 ang tinatanggap at ginagastos ng mga pamilyang may OFW, ngayon ay P61,500 na lang ito, bawas ng P15,000 na maaaring ipambayad sa matrikula ng isang anak o ng kuryente sa isang buong taon,” he stressed.

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