We owe our OFWs much for the strong economy we are enjoying today, Senator Bongbong Marcos, Jr. said.
Despite the uncertainties in some of the world’s advanced economies, the Philippines posted one of the fastest growth rates in Asia in the first three quarters of 2012, growing by 6.5 percent compared to the same period in 2011.
“It’s consumer driven. And that consumer is driven by remittances from foreign workers. That is why the richest people in the Philippines build malls. It’s very much driven by consumers,” he said.
Marcos urged the government to focus its efforts on improving the basic foundations of the country’s economy to create good paying jobs locally so that Filipino workers need not have to go abroad anymore.
He noted that the OFW remittances come at a heavy price in terms of the social cost resulting from separation with their families.
“For us Filipinos, it’s very important to be with our families,” Marcos stressed.
Likewise, he pointed out that there were many sad tales of OFWs who endured exploitation or abuse from their employers just to keep sending money back home.
“In view of these, we are always looking for ways to make our economy grow and create enough jobs here in the Philippines so our OFWs can go back and still earn a decent living to support their families,” Marcos said.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas figures showed that OFW remittances from January to October 2012 reached $17.5 billion, up 5.8 percent from $16.53 billion in the same period in 2011.
On the other hand, the World Bank projected that total OFW remittances for 2012 could hit up to $24 billion, or up by 19 percent from the $20.1 billion OFW remittances for the year 2011.
The BSP predicts that the domestic economy could sustain its robust pace this year to hit the 6 to 7 percent official target for 2013 as household consumption remains strong backed by rising investments.