By Alex P. Vidal
“Money is my military, each dollar a soldier. I never send my money into battle unprepared and undefended. I send it to conquer and take currency prisoner and bring it back to me.”—Kevin O’Leary
THE exchange rate from Philippine peso to U.S. dollar as of April 6, 2022 was P51.42 to $1.
If we have a $100 bill, the highest value of denomination currently in production, it is equivalent to P5,135.
Before sending money to the Philippines, I first check the latest exchange rate and start comparing the peso to dollar at $100 mark.
If it is P5,000+ for a $1, it’s easy to figure out the amount to send via direct bank deposit or Western Union and Moneygram, among other methods of remittance.
Some foreign-based dollar earners are “satisfied” if the the exchange rate doesn’t fall below P5,000 for one U.S. dollar.
Families in the Philippines that rely on remittances from their Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) relatives anywhere in the world rejoice if the exchange rate is higher because they will receive more.
Officially crowned the world’s reserve currency and backed by the world’s largest gold reserves, the U.S. dollar is still mightier thanks to the Bretton Woods Agreement.
Other countries accumulated reserves of U.S. dollars instead of gold reserves.
Some people are concerned that a higher peso to dollar exchange rate might have a bad effect on the wallet of those who don’t have OFW family members.
While it is cause for celebration for OFW families, this might mean, on the other hand, a weaker economy as a country.
The theory is that the higher the exchange rate, the weaker the peso will be and the weaker the economy. But let us leave the matter to the economists.
The most important is the U.S. dollar-dominated world economy continues to be stable despite the economic sanctions on Russia.
This will always be a healthy sign for the Philippines in as far as dollar remittances from OFWs are concerned.
This is also the reason why we don’t want the war Russia had initiated against Ukraine to escalate.
If we have a peaceful geopolitics and foreign relations, we will continue to have a peaceful and stable world economy.
More dirty tricks and black propaganda will continue to hound some politicians seeking elective positions in the May 9 election. They are part of the game, whether they like it or don’t.
If they aren’t ready and will allow themselves to be provoked and pissed off, they lose in the psychological warfare.
Every now and then we will continue to receive reports that a certain politician—incumbent and/or challenger—“is a victim of a food delivery scam” among other laughable tricks, like what happened recently to reelectionist Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Trenas.
If it’s not election time and there’s no ongoing campaign period, pranksters wouldn’t waste their time and energy to launch such irritating tactic meant to give their targets embarrassment and inconvenience, and nothing else.
Some local and national candidates in the coming election who are not doing well in the surveys are getting desperate and will just think of bizarre activities to harm their rivals.
These abnormal things actually don’t happen only in the Philippines; and such is the behavior manifested by losers and those being eaten up by negative energy.
Are they still relevant nowadays? I’m referring to spiritual groups like the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) which recently appealed to candidates, their parties and supporters to ensure that the elections in May will be clean, honest and peaceful.
In a recent pastoral letter, the CBCP through its president and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David also called on Filipinos to actively participate in the upcoming polls and to express themselves in a “just, respectful and peaceful manner.”
Every election, we heard the same appeal and admonition yet, we continued to experience violent and fraudulent elections; and we continued to elect mediocre, thugs, ruffians, jokers, and circus players into office.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)