Budget chief shrugs off peso depreciation
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Friday there was nothing to worry about the peso’s depreciation against the US dollar, saying it is still within the government's target.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Diokno said the weakening of the peso right now favors more than half of the Filipinos because of the overseas Filipino remittances.
"So, I'm not worried about the peso depreciation, okay. And right now our target, we'll relax it a little bit. It's up to 52...so 48 to 52, I think. That's our target," he said.
The peso closed at P50.65 against the US dollar on Friday, down 12 centavos from Thursday’s close. It hit a near 11-year low of P50.87 against the greenback in intraday trading on Tuesday..
He also noted that the peso depreciation is favorable to the export sector, which will then create more jobs.
Diokno also said the Philippines is not too dependent on foreign loans because of the inflow from the business process outsourcing and the OFW remittances.
He also said that the country's gross international reserves are equivalent to 11.7 percent of import requirements.
"The rule of thumb is three months. If you have a gross international reserves equivalent to three months of your import requirement, you’re okay. Ours is 11.7 percent. So crisis or no crisis, we are okay, okay? So I am not afraid of the devaluation," he added. Celerina Monte/DMS