PALACE SEES STRONGER PESO THIS WEEK

MANILA, DECEMBER 1, 2003  (STAR) By Mayen Jaymalin - Malacañang predicted yesterday a much stronger peso this week with the dollars from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) expected to start trickling in.

"Our long term prospect is that the peso would be much stronger, especially as we get close to Christmas because this is the time when our Filipino workers usually send money to their families back home," Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye said.

Bunye maintained that the fall of the peso last week was just a temporary phenomenon and that the peso-dollar exchange rate would stabilize at the soonest possible time.

At the end of last Friday’s trading, the peso closed at a record low of P55.730 to a dollar.

With the fall of the peso, President Arroyo immediately warned the public against taking advantage of the situation even as she assured that the government is undertaking appropriate measures to prop up the currency.

The business sector attributed the depreciation of the peso to action King Fernando Poe Jr.’s announcement that the would seek the presidency in next year’s election.

Despite the fall of peso, Buney also gave assurances that prices of basic commodities would not go up since measures are in place to prevent such a possibility.

Buney said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as all local government units (LGUs) are closely monitoring the prices of basic commodities and that government would take drastic acton against traders caught profiterring.

With the fall of the peso, President Arroyo immediately warned the public against taking advantage of the situation even as she assured that the government is undertaking appropriate measures to prop up the currency.

The business sector attributed the depreciation of the peso to action King Fernando Poe Jr.’s announcement that he would seek the presidency in next year’s election.

Despite the fall of peso, Bunye also gave assurances that prices of basic commodities would not go up since measures are in place to prevent such a possibility.

Bunye said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as well as all local government units (LGUs) are closely monitoring the prices of basic commodities and that government would take drastic action against traders caught profiteering.

Presidential candidates dared to bare plans to boost revenues Star 12/01/2003

Negros Oriental Rep. Herminio Teves (Lakas) has challenged aspiring presidential candidates to bare their plans to address deteriorating tax revenue collections and the widening gap between government spending and income.

"A presidential candidate with no bold and detailed work program to address these twin problems has no business aspiring to lead the country," Teves, House ways and means committee senior vice chairman, declared.

Teves issued his challenge shortly after the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) called on political parties to specify their programs of government and to field credible candidates in next year’s national and local elections.

"We want to know where the parties and their candidates propose to bring the country economically, and how they propose to bring us there," the PCCI said.

Teves addressed his challenge to President Arroyo, actor Fernando Poe Jr., former Sen. Raul Roco and Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

"A presidential aspirant with no deliberate and viable plan to quickly boost revenue collections will almost surely mire us deeper in public debt and lead government to financial ruin," Teves warned.

"Our people deserve no less than an comprehensive work program that can produce substantial and visible results within the next six years (of the next President’s term)," Teves pointed out.

He added: "Our people stand to suffer once the next President fails to boost revenue collections. Our people would be forced to either pay higher taxes, or live with poorer public services if the next Chief Executive simply decides to incur more new debts to finance public spending and bridge the budget deficit."

At least 44 centavos out of every peso in the budget this year is being spent to pay for interest charges on the government debt, which is expected to hit P3.4 trillion by the end of President Arroyo’s term in June next year.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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