While the ability to transfer money to the Philippines is a top priority for U.S.-based Filipinos, its taken on a heightened sense of urgency in recent days, as much of the country has been gripped by severe flooding.
According to radio station WNYC, money transfer services have been a top priority for Filipinos in New York, as many people who live and work in the region have friends and family in the Southeast nation. While some people in the Philippines have been more adversely impacted than others, several Filipino natives told the station that they are looking to send money just as soon as the high water levels have subsided, as locals have been confined to their homes because the waters have been too high.
Cholito Arce, a 58-year-old freight service manager who lives in Queens, told the radio station he will wire money to his Manila-based family the second they are able to retrieve their funds.
"They'll just wait, probably, for a message," said Arce. "What do they need? Do they need some money to repair the house? Or somebody's sick. That's the time when they’ll be sending."
He added that he's in constant communication with his family, primarily through his cellphone when he either sends them a text message or calls them directly. He also indicated that he's able to stay in top of everything that's happening in his home country thanks to a local radio station that delivers the latest information on the flood.
"It concerns us because most of our relatives are there," Arce told WNYC.
Someone else whose family has been impacted by the high water levels is Jade Manuel, a resident of the Queens borough of Woodside. She's already made an attempt to send money to the Philippines, but like Arce, the flooding has made pick up difficult.
"They are just inside the house," she told the New York-based radio station. "Good thing they have canned goods for them to eat."
Because of the flooding waters, the best means of transfer may be by bank deposit. Typically, the money that's sent with Xoom is deposited within a few hours for accounts with Bank of the Philippine Islands. Filipinos who live in the U.S. may want to get in touch with their family before they make a transaction, as well as the financial institution their recipient has an account with. They may be able to provide additional, up-to-the-minute information as it pertains to operating hours and when transfers may be completed.
According to news agency Agence France-Presse, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have been forced to abandon their homes due to the flooding waters. While some of the flooding has lessened, as much as 80 percent of Manila was flooded during the first week of August.
Remittance flows to the Philippines may not finish ahead of previous years after all, as a new projection indicates the rate of growth will be slower in 2012 due to trying economic circumstances in Europe.
According to financial services firm DBS Group, remittances from those who send money to the Philippines will grow 5 percent, which is down from the 7.2 percent rate of growth experienced in 2011 and 8.2 percent in 2010. This latest projection conflicts with what the financial group projected earlier this year, indicating that remittances bound for the Philippines "may perform even better [than in 2011] on the back of higher economic growth in the United States this year." However, it is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' projection, which recently downgraded its forecast from earlier this year.
There is some evidence to suggest that the estimation may turn out to be accurate. According to the report, so far this year, there's been a 6 percent drop in remittances being sent to the Philippines from Europe. Meanwhile, workers in the U.S. have sent more money home, with remittance flows jumping by 11 percent when contrasted to the same period of time in 2011.
"Resilient numbers from Asia and the United States helped to prop up the overall figure," DBS pointed out in a research note.
Philippines-based online news portal InterAksyon.com indicates that through the first part of the year, Filipinos and others who send money overseas have spawned a significant growth in the number of people who are spending money on various purchases in the country. Roughly two-thirds of the Philippines' gross domestic product – which is the total value of goods and services produced in a given year – emanates from consumer spending. More specifically, about 4.6 percent of the country's 6.4 percent economic growth spurt in the first quarter was due to the things Filipinos bought.
While these numbers suggest the Philippines places a great deal of reliance on remittances, it needs to rely on other means to keep its economy operating at its best, a recent report indicated.
Last month, the Business Mirror reported that because remittances are such a significant source of growth for the Philippines, the country may be putting a dependence on them, according to researchers from Oxford Business Group.
"The dependence on [overseas Filipino workers] to provide revenue and mitigate poverty leaves the Philippines open to external shocks over which the government has little control," the report noted.
OBG added that to guard against this overdependence, the country's leaders need to encourage people in the private sector to invest more in training, research and innovation, which will help serve as an additional source of economic growth for the Filipino economy.
In less than three weeks, the man many boxing analysts and fans view as the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet will step inside the squared circle, looking to notch his 55th win in 59 fights. And with Xoom, you can watch the action for free.
Manny Pacquiao – or "Pac-Man" as many like to call him – will square off against Timothy Bradley Jr. on Saturday night, June 9, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Naturally, boxing enthusiasts might be willing to put up the $55 to order the pay-per-view event. However, you can watch the two go at it for free simply by signing up with Xoom.
The program is really quite simple. All you have to do is send your first money transfer to the Philippines by clicking this link and then again on the green "Get Started" button. That will take you to a screen where you'll enter your username – which is your email address – and a password.
After going through the step-by-step transaction process, check your email. Within about an hour or so after the transaction has been completed, you'll receive an email from Xoom confirming your eligibility and to inform you that the transfer has gone through. Then, simply order the June 9th Pacquiao-Bradley fight on pay-per-view with your television remote or by calling your local cable provider. Within 14 to 15 days, you should receive your $55 prepaid VISA gift card that you can use to pay for the pay-per-view event.
But don't wait – this offer is for a limited time only – extending from May 21 through June 9 – and is only available for customers who send their first transfer through this page.
As you may already know, Pacquiao has performed well in previous fights. He boasts a record of 52 wins and just three losses and 38 of his wins have been by knockout. He's also won numerous titles over his career, including flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight light middleweight, light welterweight and light middleweight.
Timothy Bradley is no pushover, either. Though younger at 28, he's never had a loss, as his record currently stands at 27-0, six of them being KOs.
Will this be Pacquiao's latest in a long line of victories or could the younger Bradley upset the Fighting Pride of the Philippines? The world will be watching on June 9th!
Thanks to the variety of skills Filipinos have in the workplace, remittance flows to the Philippines through the first four months of the year have been strong, according to a leading financial executive.
According to the Zambo Times, speaking at the Asian Development Bank’s 45th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Armando Tetangco said the remittances being sent to the Philippines have been resilient thanks to the diversification of skills Filipinos bring to the marketplace.
“I think the diversification that has taken place in the overseas employment industry – diversification in terms of skills, diversification in terms of destinations and the diversification strategy itself – make our remittances resilient to downturns in certain parts of the world,” said Tetangco.
He added that the diversification of skills can be found among Filipinos throughout the world, but it has been particularly noticeable in the U.S. as many are working in hospitals and office settings, two employment sectors that have been relatively unaffected by the European debt crisis. As a result, remittance flows to the Philippines will likely continue to be strong throughout 2012.
Thanks to more Filipinos working overseas to support their families, remittance flows in the month of February were up significantly, a new report confirms.
According to newly released data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, money sent home by overseas Filipinos totaled nearly $1.6 billion in February. That's an increase of nearly 6 percent when compared with the same month in 2011, when remittances totaled $1.5 billion.
With more Filipinos being able to send money to the Philippines, the total remittances the country has received since the beginning of the year amounts to $3.14 billion, almost 6 percent more when contrasted with the same two-month period last year, BSP reports.
Amando Tetangco, governor of the BSP, noted how Filipinos are proving to be a hot commodity on the employment front throughout the world.
"The continued inflow of remittances is supported by the sustained demand for Filipino manpower in various foreign labor markets," said Tetangco. "Latest data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration showed that for the period January-March 2012, job orders for professional and technical, service and production workers increased by 24.6 percent to 200,010 in the comparable period last year."
While the U.S. is one of the most highly sought after locations for Filipinos with regards to seeking work, employment opportunities mainly came from other countries in February, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Taiwan, Kuwait, Singapore and Hong Kong. BSP said imposed bans that had prevented Filipinos from working in certain countries have since been lifted, including those in Nigeria, Libya and South Sudan. The POEA said the bans were rescinded because security conditions have noticeably improved in these countries.
BSP's report also revealed where many of the remittances in February came from. Just over 76 percent of money transfer orders were land-based, while approximately 24 percent were from workers who earn their living on the sea.
As for the top countries that sent remittances to the Philippines, the U.S. led the pack, followed by Canada, Saudi Arabia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore, UAE, Italy, Germany and Hong Kong. These 10 countries accounted for more than 85 percent of all cash transfers reported by banks and other financial institutions, BSP indicates.
As you probably already know, the Philippines is a country that receives a high amount of remittance flows throughout the year. Filipinos who work in the U.S. will send money to the Philippines to their families back home so that they can use it in a variety of ways. And a recent report is detailing the ways in which remittances have been spent in the first few months of 2012.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas determined this after surveying approximately 600 households who received Overseas Filipino Workers remittances between January and March of this year. The overwhelming majority of Filipinos – 95.6 percent – said they used remittances on food purchases.
But they were also used in other ways. For example, more than two-thirds said they allocated some of their remittance funds for educational costs and 60 percent said they put a portion of it toward medical payments. Just under 50 percent used it for other non-medical debts
Debt obligations Filipinos carry can sometimes temper economic sentiment, but remittances were among the things that actually led to consumer sentiment in the Philippines improving.
In the same report released by the BSP, consumer sentiment in the country rose to -14.7 percent from -20.6 percent when compared to the last three months of 2011. BSP says this is a strong indication economic growth will continue through the first half of the year.
Improved sentiment was largely due to Filipinos receiving wire transfers from their relatives living overseas, but there were other reasons for why they were optimistic. This included more jobs being available, an increase in the number of employed family members, average salaries going up, and a reduced amount of civil instability combined with greater peace and order throughout much of the country. In addition, the Filipinos surveyed also cited good governance and an appreciation in the value of the peso for why they were more upbeat about the country's financial state.
However, Filipinos aren't without their concerns, as the survey found some aspects of life in the country are tempering expectations. For example, the rising cost of oil is proving to be a burden for some families, and forecasts indicate prices won't be dropping any time soon. BNP noted that oil prices are Filipino consumers' top concern for the year ahead.
Nevertheless, the cost of energy didn't prevent many Filipinos from buying big-ticket items in the three-month period.
"Respondents were of the view that the current quarter is a favorable time to buy real estate for investment, motor vehicles for income generation and family use, as well as consumer durables," the report noted. "Relative to a year ago, buying conditions on big-ticket items improved at the national level."
If you have a family in the Philippines, consider visiting Xoom for all your money transfer needs, as their funds will be sent quickly and securely.
One of the most significant components of the Philippines’ economy is remittances, as statistics indicate it’s consistently among the top five countries Filipinos send money to every year.
Because remittances are so vital to the country and its people, Xoom has tried to make it as easy as possible for you to send a money transfer to one of several financial institutions that operate there.
1. Banco De Oro. As with the previous banks, BDO also offers cash pickup, and because you’ll find it in many of the country’s malls, your friends and loved ones may be able to stop there to pick up their money while shopping.
2. M. Lhullier. If you’re from the Philippines, you’re likely very familiar with this financial institution, as there are over 1,000 branches located throughout the country. And because most locations are open on nights and weekends, choosing M. Lhullier as a pickup destination is a great idea.
3. Cebuana Lhuillier. Xoom also partnets with Cebuana Lhuillier. The pawnshop chain offers convenient 24-hour pickup locations across the country. Its many branches services more than 30,000 clients daily.
4. Philippine National Bank. While Filipinos have a variety of remittance service providers to choose from, PNB recommends Xoom, as online transfer transactions are completed in minutes. PNB’s endorsement of Xoom is significant, as it’s one of the country’s largest banks and boasts a variety of banking products. You can also send money for cash pickup.
5. Bank of the Philippine Islands. This bank has stood the test of time, as it was established more than 150 years ago and was the first one located in all of Southeast Asia. Xoom customers will understand why it’s lasted so long, as deposits are ready in just a few hours, or you can choose cash pickup.
6. Metrobank. Xoom users can also send money to their relatives via Metrobank. Deposits can be made in hours, without you needing to leave the comfort of your own home.
7. SM Malls – You also have the option to send money to one of 30 SM Forex locations at SM Malls. Xoom has a complete list of these locations across the country.
These are just some of the 9,751 branches that serve the Philippines. You can also send money through door-to-door delivery to most provinces in one to two business days.
Regardless of the method, Xoom is confident you’ll find the one that best fits you and your family’s needs.
For much of the world, the New Year's holiday has come and gone. But for the largest segment of the world's population, the new year arrives January 23.
Chinese New Year is by far the most popular and important day on the Chinese calendar, as it marks the end of the winter season and the arrival of spring. It's also the time during which celebrants go to great lengths to welcome the year, anticipating any bad luck they had in the previous year will be replaced by good fortune.
Celebrated throughout the world – particularly in regions with a heavy Chinese population, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and various other parts of Asia – this year's celebration is said to be particularly noteworthy as it is the Year of the Dragon. Each year is represented by a different member of the zodiac and each have their own characteristics, but the Year of the Dragon is believed to be one with the most potential for good fortune.
Just as those who ring in festivities on the Gregorian calendar with certain customs and practices, the same holds true for the Chinese New Year, as over 15 days of celebrating, revelers fill their day with various traditions.
1. Clean the house. Getting one's house as orderly as possible is one of the more popular customs. Celebrants believe that by getting rid of clutter and everything else that can mess up a home, they're ridding their homes of bad luck so good luck has plenty of room to take its place.
2. Handing out red packets. The color red has special meaning as well, which is why many people celebrate by handing out red pieces of cloth or envelopes with money in them. Tradition says that doing this brings good luck and brings added wealth.
3. Celebrating with family. As with virtually all ethnic backgrounds, families are important in the Chinese culture, which is why the Chinese New Year is meant to be enjoyed with ones friends, brothers, sisters, parents and extended family members. Not only are families supposed to enjoy the day together, but go out of their way to be especially nice and cordial with one another.
Unfortunately, circumstances often prevent families from being together. That's why there's often a spike in the number of people who send money online to their families around this time. According to Experian, more than one-third of Asian Americans send money to their native country where their families live during the Chinese New Year, hoping that their new-found profit will be the start to a fortunate and prosperous season.
Traveling to the U.S. for work can be overwhelming for Filipino women, but there are plenty of resources to help them adjust. The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration reports that more than 3,000 workers immigrated to the U.S. last year for work, and there are currently more than 1.6 Filipino immigrants living and working in the country.
The Embassy of the Philippines provides all the necessary documents and information that Filipino workers will need when they arrive in America. The agency offers support for migrant workers for everything from renewing a Filipino driver's license to reporting marriages and obtaining work visa extensions.
One of the biggest challenges that many Filipino women will likely face when they reach America is learning the English language. While English is commonly spoken in more urban areas of the Philippines, many migrant workers come from more rural areas and may not know the language. There are many organizations across the country that offer English as a second language (ESL) courses to help Filipino people learn the main language, which will also be a valuable resource for integrating with American culture and society. It can be a good way for newly arriving immigrants to connect with other people from the Philippines as well.
Migrant workers who travel to the U.S. alone for work so they can send remittances to their families may find it difficult to be so far from their loved ones. Community support groups can be a great way for foreign workers to find people to connect with and share their experiences. This can also be a helpful resource for finding doctors who speak Tagalog and markets that sell food from the Philippines among other resources.
Filipino workers who want to international money transfer company. Xoom offers a number of reliable, fast ways to send remittance to loved ones. Funds can be sent directly to the recipient's bank account or to nearly any bank in the Philippines. Transferring money with Xoom can take as little as a few minutes.to the Philippines to help out their families can use Xoom, an
Manny Pacquiao’s third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was supposed to end the debate between the two fighters once and for all. Instead, it only served to raise more questions.
The Filipino phenomenon defeated Marquez by majority decision, but the fight did not end without controversy. Many in the arena felt that Marquez had outboxed Pacquiao, and one of the judges scored the fight as a draw. Pacquiao officially walked away as the winner, but its doubtful that the rivalry between these two boxers is over.
To put the fight into perspective, Pacquiao and Marquez have a long history together, and almost all of their matches have ended with controversy, as they’ve gone to a judge’s decision and the fights have been extremely close. Their first match, in 2004, ended in a draw, which is the last non-win on Pacquiao’s record. Pacquiao attempted to silence the critics in 2008, and walked away with a split decision – by just one point.
After both fights, Marquez hasn’t been shy about what he thought of the judge’s decision, repeatedly claiming he was “robbed” and that the judges were giving Pacquiao the win because of his superstar status.
After the decision was announced at the most recent fight, it appeared that nothing had changed.
“I was robbed,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “It happened again. I don’t think there is much more I can do in the ring.”
Some feel that Marquez got a raw deal due to the proposed Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather superfight that has been talked about. If Pacquiao had lost to the lesser Marquez, it would mean millions of dollars in lost revenue for the Mayweather bout. Others feel that Pacquiao legitimately won the fight, mainly due to his excellent defense and counterpunching. Though not as flashy as Marquez, Pacquiao blocked many of his strikes and scored points when he left openings.
That’s a sentiment that Pacquiao himself shares, telling reporters after the match that he felt like he did enough to win the fight.
“Yes, it was clear. I blocked a lot of his punches,” he told the news source. “If he wants a rematch, he’ll get it.”
Still, that didn’t look good for a Pacquiao camp that claimed to have been training for the knockout going into the fight. Pacquiao himself was said to be truly motivated, hoping to knock out Marquez and not leave anything in the hands of the judges.
Now, it appears that the Mayweather fight will be on hold for the time being anyways. Mayweather’s managers have challenged Pacquiao to a May 5th fight, but it seems Pacquiao is leaning toward a fourth match with Marquez instead.
“I’m bound and determined to find a definitive winner from these two,” said Top Rank Promoter Bob Arum. “If we can get both fighters to agree, we’ll put it on May 5. That fight [Mayweather] can still be there for us in November .”
While Marquez is obviously an elite fighter, he is typically not considered to be in Pacquiao’s class. Yet it appears that Pacquiao has found a true rival – someone whose style simply gives him fits, an opponent that he can’t seem to shake.
Thus it appears that the world will have to wait for the fight that everyone wants to see, which is Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. Then again, given the way these two have gone after each other in their trilogy thus far, the more entertaining matchup might just be a fourth bout.