Govt OK with P52:US$1 exchange rate

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BOON. OFWs in Hong Kong remit money to their families in the Philippines as the peso continues to weaken against the US Dollar (file photo).

GOVERNMENT would not mind if the Philippine peso depreciated further to P52 to a US dollar, according to Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.

Diokno said on July 14 that there was nothing to worry about the depreciation of the peso since the peso-dollar exchange rate was still within the government target range of P48-P52 to one US dollar.

He pointed out that peso depreciation also favored overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and the country’s exporters.

“I’m not worried about the peso depreciation…And right now our target, we’ll relax it a little bit. It’s up to P52, okay. So P48 to P52, I think. That’s our target,” Diokno said.

“My position has been that let’s leave it to the market. Right now, a peso depreciation favors more than half of the Filipinos because of the overseas Filipino remittances, okay,” he added.

On July 3, the peso slid P50.545:$1, an almost 11-year-low. As of 2:27 p.m. today, the peso is trading at P50.34 to a US dollar.

“You know, whenever you have a peso depreciation that is favorable to our exports sector, which will then create more jobs,” Diokno said.

“And as I said, the families of overseas Filipino workers like this…the peso depreciation…because that will increase their purchasing power,” he added.

Diokno also said the country was not “too dependent on foreign loans” due to the inflow of dollars through the business process outsourcing industry and OFW remittances.

He also noted that the country’s gross international reserves will be able to cover 11.7 months of worth of imports.

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