Pinoys Wary of Canada’s Effort to Lower Remittance Costs

By Marieton Pacheco, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at 05/29/2015 9:40 AM

VANCOUVER – Canada’s government recently announced measures to support lower costs for remittance services. But some Filipinos there were not happy.

Trade Minister Ed Fast met with Filipinos in Vancouver. He said the government is launching a remittance price comparison website for money senders. They will also do a survey on the flow of remittances from Canada.

“We will be comparing all the fees that are charged by companies and banks that are doing remittances to make sure that you know where to get the best price in terms of the cost of sending remittances back to the Philippines,” Fast said.

Some kababayans however said that the government may not be totally aware of what it takes to send and receive money in the Philippines.

Salve Didcott has been in Canada for 26 years and sends money to her family in the Philippines monthly. She said there’s more to sending remittances than just the fees.

“Some are actually charging more, less exchange; and the other is the charge is less, but the exchange is high. There are too many (factors), as I’ve said the location, the price, the exchange rate as well,” she said.

Those in the money remittance business meantime say fees have actually been going down the past years as more and more money transfer companies enter the market. But they say lower fees don’t necessarily guarantee better service.

World Bank estimates show Canada’s remittance industry is growing with about 24 billion dollar sent in remittances in 2012. The Philippines is in the top three receiving countries of remittances from Canada with 2 billion sent that year.


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