CHICAGO – Filipinos living in the United States remitted $30 billion to the Philippines in a 10-month period this year, and this has helped boost the country’s “tremendous economic growth of 7.24%,” Philippine Consul General Generoso D. G. Calonge reported.
In brief remarks delivered during the blessing, opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies for the PNB Remittance Centers Inc. inside the Seafood City supermarket in Chicago, Illinois last Dec, 15, Calonge said, “From January to October alone this year, we (Filipinos in the U.S.) have already remitted $30 billion (to the Philippine economy), and we continue to exhibit tremendous economic growth of 7.24% in the last quarter. So, we are happy.”
The $30-B remittance is 300% more than the one-year remittance of $10.4 billion by Filipinos in the U.S. last year, Calonge said.
Los Angeles, California-based Ricky Villacisneros, president and CEO of PNB Remittance Centers Inc., also delivered remarks during which he asked Filipinos in the Midwest to patronize the PNB Remittance Centers Inc. He said, “We are here to offer a lot of services for migrant Filipinos, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), second, third generation Filipinos and fourth, too. We are here to stay. We’ve been here since 1992. Thanks to (Arsenio) “Butch” (Odullo) for being here for the longest time.”
“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 through PNB Remittance Centers to SSS and Pag-IBIG Fund. This is the second opening in Seafood City. The first one was at Seafood City in San Francisco, California. Next year, we will be opening our PNB Remittance Center branch at the Seafood City in Toronto, Canada.”
The PNB Remittance Centers Inc. at Seafood City at5033 N. Elston Avenue, Chicago is headed by Odulio, assistant vice president. It is the ninth PNB Remittance Center located inside the Seafood City chain and the second in the Chicago area. It has a branch at 7315 W. Dempster St., Niles, supervised by Angie Recto.
There are 21 PNB Remittance centers across the U.S. and 54 partner agents, mostly Filipino stores.
In his remarks, 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.”
In his speech, Consul General Calonge also 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. In the Midwest, Chicago has the highest voting participation in all the Americas (North, Central and South Americas) as 42% of those who registered voted. We have to beat that. We have to reach 51%. So, I urged those who are still Filipino citizens or dual citizens to register to vote.
“Finally, here’s our newest consul, Consul Melchor P. Lalanio, Jr. He just arrived from Moscow, Russia, where he also served. He will be the economic officer of the Consulate. 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).”