'It's time to move for­ward'

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

THE

money sent home to the Philip­pine by over­seas Filipinos grew by 3.6 per­cent year-on-year in De­cem­ber to $2.8 bil­lion, the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas said Wed­nes­day.

The De­cem­ber per­sonal re­mit­tances brought the full-year data to $29.7 bil­lion, or a 4.9 per­cent in­crease from the year ago level, and ex­ceeded the pro­jected growth of 4 per­cent for the year, said BSP of­fi­cer-in-charge Diwa Guini­gundo said.

"The growth in per­sonal re­mit­tances was steered by the 7.6 per­cent ex­pan­sion in re­mit­tances from land-based work­ers with work con­tracts of one year or more, which to­taled $23.2 bil­lion," he said.

This made up for the 3.7 per­cent de­cline in re­mit­tances from sea-based and land-based work­ers with work con­tracts of less than one year to reach $6.1 bil­lion, he added.

Guini­gundo said the over­seas Filipinos' cash re­mit­tances coursed through banks are "at his­toric high" of $2.6 bil­lion in De­cem­ber, 3.6 per­cent higher from a year ago l evel .

The ma­jor sources of cash re­mit­tances in De­cem­ber were the United States, Qatar, and Ja­pan.

For 2016, the to­tal cash re­mit­tances grew by 5 per­cent to reach $26.9 bil­lion.

The higher cash re­mit­tances last year were driven by the $21.3 bil­lion trans­fers from land-based work­ers, which grew by 7.6 per­cent year-on-year.

The sea-based work­ers' re­mit­tances de­clined by 3.8 per­cent to $5.6 bil­lion.

"This may have been due partly to stiffer com­pe­ti­tion in the sup­ply of sea­far­ers, par­tic­u­larly from East Asia and East­ern Europe," Guini­gundo said.

About 10 per­cent of the coun­try's gross do­mes­tic prod­uct is buoyed by re­mit­tances from abroad. MALA­CAÑANG

on Thurs­day said that it would do away with the tra­di­tional com­mem­o­ra­tion of the Edsa Peo­ple Power Rev­o­lu­tion, not­ing that this year’s rites would just be “very sim­ple and very quiet.”

In a press con­fer­ence, Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Ernesto Abella said that there is a need for Filipino peo­ple not to “get stuck in the past” and have to “re­flect on what can hap­pen in the fu­ture.”

Abella said the Palace will just hold a mass for the 31st an­niver­sary of the Edsa up­ris­ing.

“[Edsa an­niver­sary] is go­ing to be very sim­ple, very quiet. And the theme will be about the re­flec­tion on na­tion build­ing,” the pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son said.

For­mer Pres­i­dent Fi­del Ramos, a for­mer mil­i­tary chief who played a cru­cial role in the 1986 rev­o­lu­tion that ended the dic­ta­tor­ship of the late strong­man Fer­di­nand Mar­cos, said the Edsa Peo­ple Power an­niver­sary might be held in­side Camp Aguinaldo in Que­zon City.

The Edsa cel­e­bra­tion is tra­di­tion­ally held at the Peo­ple Power Mon­u­ment on Edsa but Ramos said Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Sal­vador Me­di­aldea had told him that it will be cel­e­brated in a smaller venue to "avoid traf­fic con­ges­tion."

Abella, how­ever, gave dif­fer­ent re­sponse when asked why the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion picked Camp Aguinaldo as this year’s venue.

It stime­to­moveon­fromjust cel­e­brat­ing the past, re­mem­ber­ing the past, and to move on to the whole as­pect of na­tion build­ing, to give it a more pos­i­tive out­look and to give a more pos­i­tive un­der­stand­ing. We think holis­ti­cally. The whole na­tion is evolv­ing, we can’t get stuck in the past,” Abella said.

Abella also can­not con­firm if the Pres­i­dent would show up at the com­mem­o­ra­tion rites.

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