BSP: RP economy doing well

June 17, 2010 8:30 pm 

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Pampanga, June 17 — While the rest of the world continues to reel from the effects of the global financial crisis, the Philippines, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, is doing relatively well, as shown by the 7.3 percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter.

In a retrospective forum at the inauguration of the newly constructed BSP building here Thursday morning, BSP governor Amando Tetangco, Jr. said the country’s resilience was brought about by the “pursuit of sustained economic reforms under the leadership of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Ladies and gentlemen. I am pleased to report that our country, as a whole, is doing relatively well. While the world economy remains in distress following the worst global financial crisis in decades, the Philippine economy continued to move forward, culminating in the 7.3 percent GDP in the first quarter this year,” he said.

Tetangco pointed out that under the administration of President Arroyo, average annual inflation was kept at single digits, dropping to 2.8 percent in 2007, the lowest annual average in 21 years.

“This year, the average inflation for the year is at 4.3 percent, well within the government’s target of 3.5 to 5.5 percent for 2010,” Tetangco said.

Finance Secretary Margarito Teves attributed the strong showing of the country’s economy to the increase in investment and consumption.

“Right now there has been a shift of investments from developed countries specifically from troubled European countries to Asia and they see that the Philippines has been undertaking a number of reforms (EVAT and banking reforms as well our manageable deficit or debt to GDP ratio) in the past,” Teves said.

“So they look to the Philippines as a stable and profitable area to invest in,” he said.

Tetangco said “the resiliency of our economy was not lost to global analysts and investors.”

“One of the world’s biggest investment banks said the Philippines surpassed expectations, displaying remarkable resilience and an impressive rebound,” Tetangco said.

“The pursuit of sustained economic reforms under the Administration of President Arroyo made this possible,” he said.

He said the rise in the remittances of Filipino workers overseas' “to historic high levels” was also instrumental to the improved fiscal stability of the country.

In return, the BSP is working to lower remittance charges and conducting financial education on investment opportunities and investor protection programs so that OFW families will receive the complete remittance from their loved ones.

He said that since the mandate of the BSP is maintaining financial stability, his office will “continue to make good progress in integrating our countrymen into the net of the formal financial system through a program to provide financial services to the underserved as well as the unserved and unbanked.”

“In particular, we have made inroads in improving lives through microfinance with an impressive rise in the number of clients served, in loans granted and in savings generated. In fact, the country has been recognized as one of the best in the world of microfinance by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Philippines is also in a leadership position for mobile money transfers,” Tetangco said.

“This, we shall continue to do as we pursue our mandate to ensure stable prices through monetary policies; a sound and stable banking system through appropriate policies and programs; as well as a safe and reliable payments system that inspires confidence in our financial system,” he said. (PNA) RMA/OPS/ssc

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