SENATOR Grace Poe on Tuesday said financial institutions such as banks and money transfer companies as well as regulators should do more to protect the remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The latest Consumer Expectations Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that 96 percent of households that receive remittances spend it on food and other needs.
“The remittances are crucial to the survival of families of OFWs and play an important role in the economy as a whole. Their steady flow into the country softens the destabilizing impact of hemorrhaging foreign investments and outflows from the payment of foreign debt,” Poe said.
Remittances of OFWs totalled $30.1 billion in 2019, BSP data showed. Despite the blow COVID-19 dealt on the global economy, remittances in 2020 only dipped slightly to $29.9 billion.
“It’s imperative that we protect our people’s money. It is not just the remittances of OFWs coming from abroad that we must protect but local money transfers as well,” Poe said.
Since the pandemic, more people have to rely on remittances and money transfers from family members and other relatives to cope with heightened difficulties.
The Poe-led Senate committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies joint with the committee on labor, employment and human resources development will conduct a virtual public hearing on Thursday, July 22, on bills to protect the remittances and money transfers of OFWs.