Dec. 14 - The Philippines is Asia's second fastest growing economy, but the strengthening peso is hurting overseas workers whose foreign currency earnings are diminishing in value. Michaela Cabrera reports.
Filipinos working overseas are the backbone of the Philippine economy. But with the peso surging against the US dollar this year, workers abroad are seeing the value of their earnings diminish. And families back home are feeling the pinch. Such as the son and relatives of Analiza Jacer, who works in Singapore. She is struggling to maintain the peso value of the money she sends back. Economist Emilio Neri says the Central Bank must temper the peso's appreciation. SOUNDBITE: LEAD ECONOMIST AT BANK OF PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, EMILIO NERI, SAYING (English): "The reason why we've been enjoying 14 years of uninterrupted growth is because of these remittances. And again, it's quite ironic that these are the same people who have to pay the price of progress." If the trend continues, the country's source of up to 15 billion dollars worth of foreign currency reserves -- could begin to dry up. SOUNDBITE: OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKER IN SINGAPORE, RHODEL FLORES DELA YSLA, SAYING (English): "You're sad, because if you're a foreign worker, and you think that your money is getting stronger, that means what you're earning here is like nothing at all." Some overseas workers, are thinking of going home for good. But to accommodate them, the Philippines has to muster more inclusive growth and create better-paying jobs.