Malacañang remains optimistic about economy

Malacañang remains optimistic about the country’s economy even after the Philippine peso-US dollar exchange rate reached P48.05 to US$1 last week.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) data show that the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) for 2020 rose to US$109.8 billion in December, US$4.98 billion up from US$104.82 billion the month earlier.

“We continue to have confidence in our economy as evidenced by the very strong closing of the peso. The peso was 48.05 to one dollar last Friday,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a recent press briefing.

Roque pointed out that parity figure is the Philippine peso’s best finish against the US dollar in more than four years even as he acknowledged that a stronger peso may not always be good since it also means that Philippine exports become more expensive and less competitive.

He, however, said it also means that imports will be less expensive, which will benefit businesses and manufacturers that import their raw materials.

“A strong peso also translates to lower consumer prices, which would benefit Filipinos who have lost their jobs or are underemployed due to the pandemic. It will also temper inflationary pressures emanating from imported goods and international commodity prices,” he stressed.

“Although many people say a strong peso is not all good because our exports are becoming expensive, somehow, that proves that many are confident in our economy, which is why our peso also strengthened,” he said.

Late last year, Roque said “the worst is over” for the Philippines as the economy started showing signs of recovery. 

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