by Cynthia de Castro/Asianjournal.com
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that the Philippines is feeling the pinch as the US dollar declines. The article said that the dollar’s slide against the peso has forced millions of Filipinos who rely on dollar remittances from relatives working abroad to lower their standards of living. The dollar’s decline has not only crippled the economy but has crimped lifestyles, said LA Times.
There are over 10 million Filipinos working overseas to provide for an even greater number of dependents in the Philippines. Three years ago, one dollar brought 56 Philippine pesos. It has gone down steadily to P49.00 last year to around P41 this year.
The LA Times reported that the money overseas Filipinos send home each year accounts for more than 12% of the Philippine economy, often sustaining several extended-family members, some of whom don’t work. For years, these dollars have paid private school fees for children and younger siblings and bought small condos for aging parents.
One negative effect of the weakening of the dollar is that many Filipino families can no longer afford private education for their children and siblings.
Many private school owners say their enrollments have gone down because families are transferring their children to public schools. This is confirmed by reports that Manila’s public schools are now being swamped with new admissions, according to LA Times. Though one other factor for this is the rising Filipino birthrate, countless families of OFWs have admitted that they can no longer afford private school education for their kids since the sharp drop in the dollar’s value.