Strengthening Philippines Peso to Attract More Investments: TU

May. 07, 2007

MANILA — Team Unity senatorial bets are bullish that the steady rise of the peso, which has just hit a new six-year high of P47.455 per $1, will spell greater social payback for the masa and enable the government to save more from servicing its debts and thereby have more funds for its infrastructure and socio-economic projects.

Given the peso rally, Team Unity senatorial candidate Joker Arroyo pointed out that the country is now enjoying a stream of economic benefits cheaper costs of power and water utility, more competitive exports products, more investments, cheaper imported household goods, more social services to the people, and more income-augmenting infrastructure projects in the countryside.”

“The Team Unity senatorial ticket, which is committed to push the country’s economic growth spurred by President Gloria Arroyo’s “8 by ’08” economic agenda, views the continuing appreciation of the peso as a clear sign that the masa are now reaping the fruits of this growth,” Arroyo said.

This economic surge will ensure the poll victory of Team Unity because more and more voters have realized the primacy of having a Congress that will be a strategic partner of Malacaang in keeping the economy on its high trajectoryand helping President Arroyo deliver social payback to the masa, Arroyo added.

Arroyo pointed out that multilateral lending institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have projected the Philippines to grow much faster this year at a rate of 5.6% and by 6% in 2008.

Earlier, pro-administration congressmen asserted that an opposition victory on May 14 would be tantamount to economic disaster for the country.

They pointed out that whatever economic gains the Arroyo administration has achieved in the past six years would only go to waste, if the Genuine Opposition (GO) candidates would win, because their only agenda is topple the government and install themselves and former President Estrada in power.

Ilocos Sur Rep. Salacnib Baterina said that a Senate in the hands of the opposition would just obstruct implementation of the economic program put in place by the Arroyo administration and, thus, would pose the risk of stunting the nation’s economic growth.

House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao Gerry Salapuddin and Bataan Governor Enrique “Tet” Garcia echoed Baterina’s views, and warned that once the opposition lawmakers seize control of Congress, the focus of their work would be on the impeachment of President Arroyo.

Arroyo attributed the peso’s continued strength not only to the increasing foreign exchange remittances by overseas Filipino workers but also to the net direct foreign investments and portfolio investments. “Foreign banks operating in the country opted to retain their earnings here in view of the economy’s positive prospects,” Arroyo added.

Arroyo said the combined inflows of foreign exchange brought the Philippine peso to its six-year high, enabling Malacaang to trim its public debt and the local manufacturers to lower the production of goods.

Keeping the peso stable is one of the goals in Team Unity’s legislative agenda which, incidentally, is fully supportive of President Arroyo’s “8 by ’08” Social Payback Program. The program itself is a package of various infrastructure and socio-economic projects that the President has designed to enable her administration to spread fast to the masa the fruits of economic growth.

The projects include ports, airports, new railway systems, new road linkages, and more postharvest facilities with a total budget of P261 billion this year, and a host of socio-economic services budgeted at P319 billion.

President Arroyo intends to allot P1 trillion for more infrastructure projects in the next three years.###

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