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PIA Press Release
2006/10/05

Commentary: Economy unshaken by “Milenyo”

By Renee F. De Guzman

San Fernando City, La Union (5 October) -- Milenyo is unquestionably one of the worst that hit the country since a decade ago. It left widespread damages worth billions of pesos and affected hundreds of thousands of families including hundreds of persons dead.

Despite the devastations however, even as the country struggles to address the trail of the destruction, the economy unrelentlessly continue to pick up to its momentum. Milenyo’s impact did not temper the positive outlook of the country. Thanks to the administration for fixing the economic fundamentals.

Unperturbed by the disaster, the peso breached last Monday to the P50-to the dollar level bucking a downturn among regional currencies. Then, yesterday the peso sustained its rally with a P49.88 to the green buck, the highest level in four years, on the prospects of a better economy due to the improving financial position.

Of course, the continued appreciation of the peso is affecting the OFW families and the export industry. The analysts were one in saying that the peso continues to be supported by the strong fundamentals, with the government’s fiscal position and the remittances boosting the local currency. The positive outlook is underpinned by high expectations of a credit rating upgrade for the country, by early next year and the absence of macro-economic risks in the near term.

However, the government while it shares their concern, its policy is always to leave to the market forces to determine the true value of the currency.

The government’s economic team though is coming out with specific mitigating measures to assist the export sector, balance out the situation, and maintain a business environment that would spur more jobs and better infrastructure.

With the economy on a bullish run, the administration is continuously working to expand its pro-poor programs to ensure that the masses feel the results of the country’s economic gains.

The positive assessments by the credit – rating firms and foreign investors are good omen of imminent economic take off and the World Bank’s $410-million loan is a clear manifestation of confidence in the sustainability of the Philippines’ fiscal programs in the coming years.

Come to think of it, despite the many moves to topple the Arroyo administration and the various natural and man-made disasters that affected the country, President Arroyo has managed to pull the country to a dramatic take off.

As we currently enjoy unprecedented economic growth post-People Power I with a positive outlook across various sectors both here and abroad backed by the country’s improving indicators speak well of the better things to come and the government calls on the people to sustain the momentum by upholding excellence, productivity, and unity that will assume their fair share of the benefits of growth.

The Government is set to achieve more if we continue to join hands and pull together and remain focused on the agenda of economic growth and stability. (PIA La Union) [top]

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