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FilAms sent most of $30 billion remittances to PH

uspinoy4BY JOSEPH LARIOSA – CHICAGO (JGL) – Filipinos living in the United States have so far remitted “the bulk of nearly” of $30-billion dollars from the worldwide Filipino diaspora to the Philippines this year to back up the country’s “tremendous economic growth of 7.24%,” according to Philippine Consul General Generoso D. G. Calonge, citing statistics from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank).

In brief remarks during the blessing, opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies of the PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. inside the Seafood City supermarket chain in Chicago, Illinois Thursday, Mr. Calonge said, ”From January to October alone this year, we (Overseas Filipino Workers) have already remitted $22.124-billion (to the Philippine economy as of October, 2016) and we continue to exhibit tremendous economic growth of 7.24% in the last quarter. So, we are happy.”

Compared to the worldwide October 2015 remittance of the Filipino Diaspora of $21.266-B, this year’s collection as of October has increased by .96%. In 2015, Filipinos from the U.S. remitted $10.4-billion, or 42.6 percent of the total the year before. According to CNBC, the 42.6% was up 4.7 percent of 2013, a much slower pace of growth than the previous year.

Los Angeles, California-based Ricky Villacisneros, President & CEO of PNB Remittance Centers, Inc., in his remarks, asked Filipinos in the Midwest to patronize the PNB Remittance Centers, Inc., saying, “We are here to offer a lot of services for migrant Filipinos, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW’s), second, third generation Filipinos and fourth, too. We are here to stay. We’ve been here since 1992, (24 years). Thanks to (Arsenio) “Butch” (Odullo) for being here for the longest time. Thanks to you, everybody, Alma, AJ, you’ve been working very hard to serve the community.

“We have a lot of offerings. Please feel free to drop by, ask questions, Our Megaworld partner is here. In fact, you can pay your real estate payments thru PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. to SSS and Pag-Ibig.

This is the second one opening with Seafood City. The first one being in Seafood City in San Francisco, California.
“Next year, we will be opening our PNB Remittance Centers, Inc.branch with Seafood City in Toronto, Canada.” The PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. at Seafood City at 5033 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago is headed by Mr. Odulio, Assistant Vice President. It is the ninth PNB Remittance Center located inside the Seafood City chain but the second such remittance center in Chicago area, which includes the branch at 7315 W. Dempster St. in Niles, supervised by Ms. Angie Recto. There are 21 PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. across the U.S. and 54 partner agents, mostly Filipino stores.

For his part, Mr. Odullo said, “I would like to reiterate what our President (Ricky Villacisneros) has said, we would like to invite you to visit our location as we have a variety of services that we can offer for your remittance needs. Please visit us.”
Consul General Calonge said, “I’d like to assure you that there is no need for visas for U.S. citizens to come to the Philippines; no visa regulations have changed. Starting Dec. 1 (2016), you can register again for the next (mid-term) election in 2019, for the second group of senators. If you don’t know it, in the Midwest, Chicago had the highest voting participation in all the Americas (North, Central & South Americas) as 42% of those who registered voted. So, we have to beat that. We have to reach 51%. So, I urged you, for those who are still Filipino citizens or dual citizens to register to vote.

“Finally, here’s our newest, consul, Consul Melchor P. Lalunio, Jr. He just arrived from Moscow, Russia, where he also served and he will be the economic officer of the Consulate. So, please consult with him. He is a very personable guy, very competent, and my source of pride as he graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mount Makiling (in Laguna, Philippines).”

Among the guests at the blessing, opening and ribbon cutting ceremonies of the PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. were Atty. Adrian Tabangay, President of the Philippine American Chambers of Commerce; Dr. Rufino Crisostomo, President of Filipino American Council of Greater Chicago (FACC), Mr. Bobby Luna, Administrator of Rizal Center; Atty. Mike Aguhar, Executive Director of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), Dr. Gerry & Mrs. Gigi Guzman and Mr. & Mrs. Tom & Connie Buenvenida of the St. Gregory The Great Church of Chicago.

PNB Remittance Centers, Inc. is an affiliate of Philippine National Bank, one of the largest banks in the Philippines with a “wide array of competitive banking products to answer for the diverse needs of its huge clientele including more than 2 million depositors,” according to the PNB website. (Contact Reporter: