GMA  ATTRIBUTED  RECOVERY  OF  PESO  TO  GOVT  REFORMS

MALACAÑANG, January 18, 2005
(OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today attributed the recovery of the peso to the reform measures being undertaken by the government to improve the economy.

In a radio interview this morning, the President said investors are beginning to appreciate government efforts to turn the economy around beginning with the new tax measures being pushed in Congress by the administration.

"Masyadong matagal na, ilang dekada nang utang ang pinanggagalingan ng ating kaunlaran (For so long a time, for so many decades, our external debt has been the source of our progress)," she noted.

"Hindi naman puwedeng utang nang utang na lang ang pinanggagalingan ng ating kaunlaran dahil ang ating budget ay sa interes lang mapupunta (We can’t forever rely on loans for our progress because we’d only be using our budget for interest payments)," the President added.

What the country needs, according to the Chief Executive, is for the present generation to pay for the price of progress.

"Mas mabuti na tayo ang nagbabayad ng ating utang imbes na iyong ating mga anak at apo (It’s better that we are paying for our debts instead of our children and grandchildren)," she said.

After languishing in the P56 to the dollar level, the peso finally crossed the P55 benchmark last week and continued to gain strength.

Today, the peso opened firmer at P55.600, moved up to a high of P55.460 in early trade, before closing at P55.550.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Director Ma. Ramona Santiago attributed the peso’s strength to the movement of regional currencies particularly the Japanese yen against the US dollar.

Volume of transactions remained heavy today, amounting to $215 million.

Year-to-date, she said, the peso has appreciated by about 1.31 percent, compared to the P56.280 at the close of Dec. 29 last year.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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