Malacañang on Monday said it remains optimistic about the country’s economic rebound after the Philippine peso-US dollar exchange rate reached P48.05 to $1 last week, and the country’s gross international reserves (GIR) rose to $109.8 billion at the end of 2020.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed that the country’s GIR for the whole of 2020 rose to $109.8 billion in December, up by $4.98 billion from $104.82 billion the month earlier.
“We continue to have confidence in our economy as evidenced by the very strong closing of the peso. Today, the peso was P48.05 to one dollar on Friday,” he said in Filipino in a Palace press briefing. The closing rate on Monday was P48.07 to $1.
Roque said this figure is the Philippine peso’s best finish against the US dollar in more than four years.
He acknowledged that a stronger peso may not always be a good thing, since it also means that Philippine exports become more expensive and less competitive.
However, he said it also means that imports will be less expensive, which will benefit businesses and manufacturers that import their raw materials.
A strong peso also translates to lower consumer prices, which would benefit Filipinos who have lost their jobs or are underemployed due to the pandemic.
It will also temper inflationary pressures emanating from imported goods and international commodity prices.
“Although many people say that the strong peso is not all good together because our exports are becoming expensive, somehow, that proves that many are confident in our economy, which is why our peso also strengthened,” he said in Filipino.
Late last year, Roque said “the worst is over” for the Philippines as the economy is seeing signs of recovery. SOVEREIGNPH