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Weaker peso may undermine government programs – lawmakers

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Weaker peso may undermine government programs â lawmakers
Party-list Reps. Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon and Edwin Gardiola of Construction Workers Solidarity, and Rep. Reynanto Arrogancia of Quezon province raised their concern yesterday in a joint statement, saying the country’s currency has depreciated by P7 against the dollar since March 8 when the exchange rate was P52 to a dollar.
Miguel De Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — The continued weakening of the peso is threatening to undermine government programs under the budget allocation for next year amounting to P5.268 trillion, according to a group of lawmakers.

Party-list Reps. Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon and Edwin Gardiola of Construction Workers Solidarity, and Rep. Reynanto Arrogancia of Quezon province raised their concern yesterday in a joint statement, saying the country’s currency has depreciated by P7 against the dollar since March 8 when the exchange rate was P52 to a dollar.

“The prices of imported goods are increasing as well as the prices of materials such as cement, electrical wirings, and oil which are needed in the government’s flagship programs,” Arrogancia said.

For her part, Herrera underscored there might be a need for the Development Budget Coordinating Committee to review its targets.

But Gardiola said the weakening of the peso does not mean the country’s economy is getting weaker.

“The US dollar is strong against the peso but that does not mean that the Philippine economy is weak; not at all. It’s just that dollar is stronger against most currencies now,” he added.

EDWIN GARDIOLA

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