MANILA – Current weakness of the Philippine peso, which is now trading at 51-level to a US dollar, is not an issue yet since this situation still benefits a large number of Filipinos.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told journalists in an interview Thursday that concerns on the current depreciation of the local currency is uncalled for since the economy is now stronger than in the past.
Foreign exchange rate in the Philippines is market-determined, he said, referring to the policy set by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Its movement, he pointed out, is not greatly affecting domestic price increases unlike in the past.
“We are a much larger economy, much more diversified. The economy is very different from what it was in the 1990s so the impact is not felt as much,” he said, citing the economic reforms done during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and even President Benigno Aquino III.
“They had very good economic management and diversified the economy,” he said.
The Finance chief explained that movement of the currency results to losers and winners, with families of some 10 million overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and workers of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector among those benefited.
“I’m not saying that everybody should be happy but majority is benefiting, we should allow the market to take its course,” he said.
“What we are watching very carefully is the rate of change. If it goes from P51 to P53 in one day that is worrisome…Let’s put it this way, we are watching it, but we are not panicking,” he said. PNA