Friday, October 7, 2011

Bilog Savings - Empirical Data

How does lack of legal status affect migrant savings?   The case of BINGO (not my respondent's real name) may help shed some light on the issue.

I share below (with the respondent's permission) his bank transactions data:

Let's begin by taking a closer look at BINGO's deposits and withdrawals from May 15, 2001 (first deposit) to September 9, 2011 (last withdrawal).  Below are eleven pages of two bank books of BINGO.

Eleven Pages of BINGO's Bank Account
Since some amounts are not entered clearly I made an excel file of the bank transactions for your easy reference.  I made the following observations:

- Frequency of deposits is 58% or 7 out of 12 months in a year.
(computation method: 85 months of savings in Japan from May 15, 2001 to May 10, 2008 divided by 49 deposits made in that period)

- Average amount per deposit is P14,000.
Note that deposits were made in Yen and converted to Pesos.  The JPY-to-Peso exchange rate during the period 2001-2008 thus becomes relevant to assess the magnitude of the P14,000 relative to BINGO's salary level.  Converted to Yen, average deposit amount is ¥30,000 and total deposited amount in 7 years is ¥1,500,000.

- P350,000 was withdrawn from the Philippines in 2007 when BINGO was still in Japan.  BINGO explained that he had authorized this withdrawal for the purpose of starting a computer rental business to be run by his family, specifically his eldest son.  More below on how this business venture fared.

- BINGO then had not P700,000 but only P350,000 as savings upon his return to Manila in May 2008.  He made 10 withdrawals in quick succession over a period of just two months totaling P355,000.

- Deposits from Japan continued even after BINGO returned to Manila.  Eleven deposits totaling roughly P350,000 were made monthly starting June 2008 up to June 2009.  More below on who these deposits were from.

[to be continued...]

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