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Weakening Dollar hurts Probloggers




Connie asks “Is it time to dump those dollars?”. Obviously, the weakening dollar has affected professional bloggers across the globe as well.

When I opened up my first dollar savings account about 3 years ago, I bought a sizable amount of the green bucks at Php56.40. Today, the peso-dollar exchange rate stands at Php43.27. That’s a net loss of Php13.13 for every dollar that I have in the bank. That loss closely amounts to a brand new car or a down payment for a house and lot. And I thought going with a dollar savings was the best fiscal move I made in years.

Other int’l probloggers like Darren Rowse and John Chow were also affected since the Australian and Canadian dollars were much stronger against the US green bucks. I reckon this is also true with the rest around the globe.

As expected friends and relatives remitting dollars from the US are also having the same sentiments over the weak dollar. And it will continue to roll down as December approaches.

So the question stands, is it time to dump the dollar? or should we wait it out until after the 2008 US Presidential Elections? Your guess is as good as mine.

My fiscal strategy – stick it out with the dollar. Make do with whatever peso-denominated earnings and pay int’l bills in dollars.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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33 Responses

  1. Mikko says:

    Let’s pray for the peso to depreciate, just kidding.

    Whenever peso depreciates, our net exports increase as other countries tend to buy our products cause they get more out of their money.

    Haha, let’s promote peso depreciation.

  2. marhgil says:

    look it at the brighter side. mura na ngayon ang domain name, hehehe. less than 500 pesos. :)

  3. Gloria says:

    it hurts! hurts a lot.

    mikko: kung ganyan nga eh bakit walang maramdaman ang common pinoy consumer?

  4. jhay says:

    Oh no, my next AdSense payment is due on December, if this goes on my Christmas plans would have to be re-written.

    Then again, local business do benefit from this so it’s still a good thing.

  5. mr nice ash says:

    really, this is a disaster. it’s like i still have to keep myself employed for the next few years. :D

  6. BrianB says:

    I could’ve bought a new phone: iPhone? N81?

  7. BrianB says:

    Net loss is 20% since late 2006. Twenty per cent!

  8. Sophie says:

    Even if our exports appear cheaper because of the depreciation, exporters are hurt as well because of their loss of profits. Well, I hope that we get to have a stable exchange rate because fluctuating just makes it all the more confusing. Wag muna galawin ang dollars!

  9. Jaypee says:

    If you have international dealings then it will definitely hurt. But for someone like me who doesn’t and only use the dollar within the US, then it doesn’t matter. Besides, I have no choice too since I’m here in the US. I really need to use US$. Hehe :D

  10. Kates says:

    I bailed out a while ago when the dollar was hovering around Php45-46.

  11. ManuelV says:

    Time to problog in pesos then?

    As for the sliding dollar, and if you are willing, why not sell your dollars now then buy them back later? ;-)

  12. minor says:

    dollar-earning-pro-blogger, common give me break

  13. luthien says:

    look at the brighter side…the stronger peso has cushioned the effects of the rising world oil price which is now hovering at $100 per barrel vs. last year’s $70 pbl. mas masakit yun. and malaking proportion ng imports ay oil pa rin. hindi lang naman yung me mga kotse ang maapektuhan nito eh, lahat ng bilihin and services tataas.

  14. Hari Skwatir says:

    @Gloria: Mind you, it doesn’t happen overnight there.

    “Reklamo nang reklamo, gustong maging Amerikano.” – The Jerks

  15. Hari Skwatir says:

    @Gloria: Mind you, it doesn’t happen overnight dear.

    “Reklamo nang reklamo, gustong maging Amerikano.” – The Jerks

  16. chinesemafia says:

    The weakening dollar also brought a 13% drop on my monthly earnings converted to PHP over the last year. This would have been okay if prices of commodities back home rolled back.

    Let’s see, value of USD goes down, it now takes more USD to buy oil, oil price goes up, commodity prices go up. How come the “strengthening” PHP was not taken into consideration? Any economists out there?

    Also, if it’s just the USD that is weakening, how come the SGD-PHP rate is also going down? I believe the SG economy is doing better than the RP economy. Is it because we convert everything to USD first? i.e. SGD-USD-PHP?

    The logical thing to do right now would probably pay off some of the trillion dollar debts we have.

  17. jun says:

    If you do not need to convert, don’t. Or at least just convert what you must. Most of us would probably dream or plan of traveling where the USD will come in handy.

    Or ask friends in the US who’ll be home this Christmas to buy you gadgets there and pay them up in dollars.

    Also, you might want to sell these US-bought products – in peso of course.. Syempre, tutbuan mo, pero mas mababa kaysa sa mall.

    Or invest your USD in some mutual bonds. Ask your financial adviser.

  18. mocs says:

    A weak dollar is not bad at all for the Philippines… in so many ways. I made a post about Pinoy benefits from a weak dollar on my blog.

  19. Berlin says:

    The dollar will continue to slide because the sub-prime mortgages not ‘coz of the politics or even the war. Remember in the mid 90’s then it was 23 peso to a $1. Hopefully, it won’t go below that.

  20. jomark says:

    Im one of the affected here as about 90% of my income streams are in dollars. I have an average monthly inflow of $3k and the loss is already something to scream about.

  21. nel animo says:

    Yes it hurts so much. But the technique.. try to give your client a peso rate not the dollar rate. So your price stays the same.

  22. Maki says:

    It’s really advisable to hold your dollars during the holiday season (especially in December when remittances from OFWs are skyrocketing).

    I quote from my comment in PinoyTechBlog:
    Since Paypal Philippines has full access to account withdrawals, I’ve been receiving the dollars from blogging. Taking caution about the peso-dollar trend during the holiday season, I will not withdraw my dollars from my Paypal account until next year. :D

    Blogging is like Exporting your services to those companies abroad. So the effect that the weakening dollar has on Exporting has the same trend with blogging. (If you’re getting paid from abroad) ;)

  23. Emilia says:

    Yuga, I commented on this over at Connie’s blog so I’ll emphasize it here too, since it’s very important in guiding where we contribute our labor:

    My own advice to Pinays and Pinoys planning to work abroad, especially professional Filipinos with special skills or some sort of technical background, is to look seriously at Continental Europe rather than the USA. (Sorry, not Britain either– the UK’s banks are if anything in even worse crisis than the USA, terrible debt there. Do *not* go to Britain.) The Euro is really *the* currency to be making your money in these days. Furthermore, no matter what kind of job you’re doing, you can earn enough money to enjoy a high quality of life and send lots of money home– which, considering the high value of the Euro and the exchange rates, results in enormous financial gains for any remittances you send back home.

    If you’re working in any kind of science, nursing, medical, tech, computer or engineering field, then speaking and writing German is a *massive* advantage. Germany is the hub of the European Union and the seat of the Euro, with by far the strongest economy. Practice by writing some of your professional papers and articles in German, get schooled in it, whatever it takes– German is useful anywhere in the EU. And it’s not hard to learn, I had to become fluent in German for my chemistry degree years ago (I’ve gone into nursing since), and after the first few months which can be tough, it gets much easier to get good at.

    If you have a different background (or any background for that matter), you have lots of choices in the EU. Besides the German hub, there’s also the Iberian countries Spain and Portugal. These days, both have become good places to work no matter what your skill level, and again, you earn your salary in Euros. And obviously, if you can speak Tagalog, you can learn Spanish and Portuguese very quickly (and even Italian and French), since there’s so much Spanish vocabulary in Tagalog. Italy used to have some problems, but it’s gotten much friendlier recently for Filipino workers there, and again Italian is easy to pick up.

    France is also just wonderful to work in, and French is a glorious language to pick up. As with the other countries, it’s all about the Euros– if you work in France, you have the advantage of high quality of life and an excellent salary that you make in Euros, with plenty of money to send home. In the Mediterranean countries, eastern Germany and much of eastern France, also, the cost of living is low and you can easily build up your Euro savings.

    Again, Continental Europe these days is where the action- and the money- is to be found. IMHO, it’s finally time to realize that English, while still useful, is not nearly as useful and certainly not the global language it’s been pretended to be. Filipinos who want to make good money abroad and support their families, need to make careful consideration of the languages spoken in the areas where the best work opportunities are.

    Other than that, I’d say that generally, German is incredibly useful if you’re doing something technical/scientific (and should probably be thoroughly taught to anyone working in these fields), Chinese is really becoming the new big business language for anything in East Asia (maybe should be the standard second language after Filipino these days, instead of English), Spanish is key for any of us working in South America, and of course Arabic is fundamental for those of us working in the oil-exporting countries.

    But the EU minus Britain is really *the* place to be working. Especially in the big countries and the Mediterranean nations.

  24. Emilia says:

    BTW, I would *not* be putting any confidence in the results of the 2008 election changing anything. Both the Democratic and Republican frontrunners (Hillary and Rudy Giuliani) are very similar to each other. Both support staying in Iraq, getting tough on Iran, overspending on the US military and little difference in their economic strategies, which aren’t exactly advantageous for Filipinos working there.

    Besides, the troubles for the US economy are largely beyond their control. The Federal Reserve is going to be cutting interest rates anyway, which is going to cause further dollar decline and inflation.

    Even worse, it’s going to start becoming very ugly since the baby boomers start retiring en masse around 2009, with a bigger cohort by 2011 or so. With the USA already almost $10 trillion in debt, and stuck losing in multiple wars, it’s going to get very ugly.

    Like I was saying earlier, learn a language other than English– German most useful if you’re doing technical work, Chinese a big plus anywhere in the region or for global business (Japanese less useful but can still be advantageous in E Asia), otherwise target the language depending on where you go.

    And look seriously at working in Continental Europe, where you earn a salary in Euros! That makes an enormous difference, especially if you have a professional background.

  25. Dexter says:

    It is an advantage for me since I am getting the earning in Saudi Riyals. And until this moment the exchange rate of dollar to Riyal is still the same 5 years ago..

  26. Here’s what I’ve been doing since the PhPeso started getting stronger.

    I pay for my international purchases and billings under USD.
    I get payments only under EURO. Or find a way to get EURO instead of USD.
    More PhP money for me if I use EURO than USD ^_^

    And why the common people aren’t feeling the effects of the stronger peso? Mainly because we’re looking at it differently – like Public Transportation Fare and Food Prices.

    In reality we already benefited. Jeepney 7.50 fare. If Peso is still trading close to PhP60 = U$1.00 like years ago, our Jeepney fare today would be more than PhP10.00 already, and who knows what kind of trouble and wars it may cause our country.

    We’re back at 7.50 fare not because of the Peso-Dollar, but because of Oil Price Hike and Parts. If Peso-Dollar will become PhP30.00 to U$1.00 by December, then the Jeepney fare can be rolled-back to 5.00, or 2.00 (if Parts will also go down).

    If you’re trading using Peso, then it is not ‘obvious’, but it is there, we are all benefiting from it. If you’re trading in U$, then you felt it strong.

    As one mentioned, cheaper domain names.
    I will add, cheaper international billings and purchases.
    Businesses – cheaper licensing deals
    Country – easy loan payments.

    It’s there. We just don’t see it, but it is there. Look at the benefits from a different angle and direction. :)

    Again it hurts, I know. In my opinion, release those dollars NOW NA!! This is only the beginning, watch out for ADB’s announcement and the ASEAN projects. They’re ready to launch the ‘buffer’, especially now that experts are saying the US is nearing another recession. We really need a buffer now before we feel another 1997 crash/blow.

  27. To add, I strongly agree with Emilia.

    It’s EURO not US DOLLAR anymore.
    It’s CHINESE not American English anymore.
    It’s GERMAN not English English anymore.

    And yes, the USD is going to get weaker and weaker. As I’ve said, this is just the beginning.

    ADB is ready to announce the buffer that will even make our region stronger than it is now. The Asian Currency Unit or ACU, it is a weighted basket of the founding-countries’ economies. We’ll soon be pegging the Peso to ACU, and ACU pegging to both Dollar and Euro. (No Yen or Yuan, as it is planned to let them join the ACU second batch, together with India and Australia.)

    In other words, our economy will be integrated to the region and thus higher economies will pull us up. Though it won’t be much since (1) lower economies will pull the others down and (2) the Philippines is already on the lower end of the “middle” economy (aka 2nd World).

    Hold your dollar, you lose in a few years time. Either convert it now, or start getting EUROs instead.

    I love EURO. And I will love more the ACU, eventhough it is not yet a “monetary system”.

    Gone are the days of USD dominating the market.
    Gone are the days of English dominating the world language.

    Today, if you want to be competent and stable:
    “EURO not US DOLLAR.
    CHINESE not American English.
    GERMAN not English English.”

    Welcome to the early 21st Century. By the closing of the 21st Century, it will be East Asia’s time.

    Regardless, let me say – it is ALREADY OUR time. Let’s break from the Western practices and thinking.

  28. marhgil says:

    With all those comments from Emilia and JC John Sese Cuneta, gusto ko na tuloy mag-open ng Euro account. meron ba dito sa pinas? :)

  29. James Marcus says:

    Dump the dollars !! Its the best idea anyone could have..

    http://www.videosearchtool.info

  30. Mike Wagan says:

    I think we can still stick it out with dollars. Let’s just wait and see if they can recover from their fall. If not, go Euro!

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