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New York-based Filipinos try to send money home to flood-ravaged Philippines

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.

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