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PIA Press Release
2007/06/04

Commentary: Hard-won economic resurgence must not be undermined by unproductive conflicts

by ES Subong

Iloilo City (4 June) -- Let's keep the country surging. We must not allow unproductive conflict and undue attacks on the integrity of our democratic processes undermine the hard-won economic resurgence and rising investor confidence which are positive factors for the country's advancement.

The unflinching efforts of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the police and the soldiers, the teachers and other election personnel as well as the political candidates, the vigilance and perseverance of poll watch organizations and the media, deserve all our grateful appreciation.

While we share the concern of many about allegations of fraud from administration and opposition, from citizens' groups, we must also acknowledge the overall assessment of elections success from U.S Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and the foreign observers. Let us hope that we can sustain our efforts towards progress and stability and hope for the speedy conclusion of the electoral process according to law.

Meanwhile, the 6.9 per cent growth in the country's Gross Domestic Products (GDP) for the first quarter is attributed to the government's resolve to improve macroeconomic fundamentals which includes the strengthening of the peso, lower interest rates, and lower budget deficit.

The lower interest rates are due to the government's lower budget deficit. Low budget deficit improves the government's credit standing or image, making lenders offer lower interest rates on funds borrowed by the government. Lower interest rates on government borrowings lead to low interest rates on bank loans, and this encourages investors to borrow and expand their business, and business expansion will result to more job opportunities.

Moreover, the strengthening of the peso largely boosts the economy, as it would make imported goods cheaper, which in turn will encourage households to increase consumption or spending. Higher spending by the household means higher demands for goods and services provided by businesses, which would require higher production, hence, create more jobs for the people.

The record 6.9 percent first quarter GDP growth demonstrates what the Filipino people can achieve with resolute economic governance reform, political maturity and consolidation coupled with unrelenting hard work. (PIA 6) [top]

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