GMA: WE CAN SURVIVE PESO FALL

MANILA,  February 7, 2004 (STAR) President Arroyo reaffirmed yesterday that "economic reforms, clean politics, and public sobriety" will be implemented to ensure that country’s economy would be able to absorb the ill effects of the weakened peso.

In an official statement she issued at the Palace yesterday, the President expressed anew her optimism that the peso’s slump vis-a-vis the dollar was just another "transient economic dislocation."

"We have faced these transient economic dislocations in the past and we have shown the capacity to weather and surmount it," Mrs. Arroyo said.

"We must stay the course of economic reforms, clean politics and public sobriety to see through this season of controversy and seeming uncertainty," she added.

She reassured the public anew that "systems" will be put in place by concerned government authorities to deal with the weakening peso and rising oil prices to protect them against these temporary economic difficulties.

"We have suffered enough downfalls yet we stood to overcome all of these to even make us stronger and strive harder," Mrs. Arroyo cited.

"Let us unite the way we did many times in the past, to overcome our problems and fears," the President exhorted.

Mrs. Arroyo also renewed her warning against dollar speculators and "doomsayers" on fanning the public’s fears regarding the peso-dollar volatility.

"Let us not deal in doomsday scenarios that will aggravate anxieties and erode confidence," the President warned.

"What we need most are a calm public, a conscientious business sector and political leaders who will refrain from grandstanding on these issues," the President urged.

The peso has somewhat recovered lately after it breached the P56 to $1 level, which the President blamed on "excessive" politics and the most recent incident of military adventurism. — Marichu Villanueva


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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