MANILA, Philippines — The strong performance of the peso against the United States' dollar is a sign of an improving Philippine economy, President Aquino said on Tuesday.
But he assured the export sector and the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) hurting from the local currency upsurge that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is on top of the situation.
“Too strong? I think the BSP is on top of the situation and they are doing the necessary steps to make sure the fears about the export sector or even OFW remittances will not be severely affected. But undoubtedly it is also a sign that the economy definitely is improving,” Aquino told reporters in an interview at the sidelines of the launching of the Department of Trade and Industry's new business name registration system in Mandaluyong City.
The peso closed at P43.600 against the dollar last Monday.
Sergio Ortiz-Luis, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport), reportedly said a P43 to the US dollar is already a suicide for exporters. Families of OFWs in the Philippines have also reportedly expressed their apprehensions over the situation.
BPO Association of the Philippines (BPAP) president Oscar Sanez has also reportedly said that the strong peso is threatening the viability of their operations.
“At P43 to the US dollar, that is already painful and small operators are already operating at a loss. If your capital is small, you might close shop and that is understandable,” he said.
The President on the other hand dismissed worries about inflation because of the growing economy.
“Inflation is a figure we don't worry about. Walang nag-o-overheat sa economy. Again, I guess we are in quite an ideal situation. Where there is growth, inflation is moderate or controlled and the pesos value is not subject to very wide fluctuations,” he said.
Asked whether the signs of growth indicates that the government can surpass its targets for this year, Aquino said he has yet to get reports from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
JC Bello Ruiz, Manila Bulletin