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PIA Press Release
2006/10/16

Philippines will be off IMF monitoring in April

Manila (16 October) -- THE International Monetary Fund will let the Philippines off its post-program monitoring in April, IMF country representative Reza Baqir said Friday.

The government has been working to bring this development about for some time.

Baquir said at a media briefing on mid-2006 post-program monitoring, or PPM, discussions: "The end of the PPM is a sign of the economy's strength and a sign that vulnerabilities continue to fall ... external viability continues to improve and it is a development that we will welcome."

The PPM provides for more frequent consultations between the IMF and member countries whose funding arrangements have expired but which continue to have outstanding credit with the Fund.

For the Philippines, it had been stretched out every year since 2001 as a buffer against the government's financial problems.

Under this monitoring scheme, the IMF reviews the Philippine economic performance twice a year, the last of which was completed in early August. It can offer advice but may no longer impose on policy, such as on public sector borrowings.

In a report released Friday in Washington following the end of the mid-2006 PPM discussions on Wednesday, the IMF executive directors commended Philippine authorities for the country's strong macroeconomic performance -- including robust growth, moderating inflation, and an improved external position - and for progress in structural reforms.

"While stronger fundamentals have made the Philippines more resilient and less vulnerable to shocks, [the IMF] cautioned that important vulnerabilities remain," the report said. "Although on a declining path, the public debt is still high, with external commercial borrowing requirements continuing to be sizeable." (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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