Saturday, November 10, 2012

Virtual Assistants Worry: US Dollar to Philippine Peso Exchange Rate Continue to Decline

Philippine Peso (100-peso bills)

More and more virtual assistants (and online freelancers in general) from the Philippines are getting increasing anxious about the current trend in the US Dollar to Philippine Peso (PHP) exchange rate.

USD to PHP Exchange Rate

The current exchange rate (8AM, November 10, 2012 UTC+8) according to Google*, is 1 USD = 41.0500 Philippine Peso and the trend scares more 'virtual employees' working under the outsourcing industry that this will continue to go south.

On November 6, the peso reached its 4-year highest value, closing at 41.06 against the US dollar. Last March 2008, the peso closed at 40.85 per USD. According to analysts, investors bought assets on emerging markets that, in turn, gave a boost to the Philippine peso and other Asian currencies.

Philippines is currently favored by foreign investors because of it's economic growth. Finance Secretary Purisima proves this as he said that "(The Philippines) is considered today to be one of the safest emerging market sovereigns to invest in.” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando Tetangco also stated on October this year that "The peso remains competitive and its strength against the dollar is due to the Philippines' strong economic fundamentals." The Bangsamoro peace deal, which was signed this October, also gave some "pogi points" to the Philippine market as it potentially solves the problem in Mindanao.

Remittances from Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are also one of the driving factors of this trend. It can be noted that there was a slight increase of remittances on the later months of this year that gave some lift to the peso too.

Paypal Currency Conversion, US Dollar to Philippine Peso, November 11, 2012, 9:00 UTC+8

People earning through their outsourced online jobs are greatly affected by this because their payments/ salaries are reduced and some websites offering online payment solutions, such as Paypal, have considerably lower exchange rate. Virtual Assistants and other online freelancers are hoping that the government will find some means to control this, of course, without the risk of having a negative effect on the Philippine economy.

*Currency Conversion Disclaimer (from Google): Google cannot guarantee the accuracy of the exchange rates used by the calculator. You should confirm current rates before making any transactions that could be affected by changes in the exchange rates. Foreign currency rates provided by Citibank N.A. and displayed under license. Rates are for information purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Rates for actual transactions may vary, and Citibank is not offering to enter into any transaction at any rate displayed.

1. What are you, as an online freelancer, doing to solve or get around this problem that is obviously out of our hands?
2. Do you have some self-proven effective tips to share with other troubled freelancers?

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