Weak peso unlikely to slow infrastructure push: Sec Villar


Posted at Jun 29 2017 12:04 PM

MANILA - The weak peso will not derail President Rodrigo Duterte's P8-trillion infrastructure program, one of his economic managers said Thursday.

Many of the projects are financed locally and not through foreign loans, which could be paid in dollars, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar told reporters.

The peso slipped to its lowest in 10 years against the dollar on Wednesday, due to concerns over the country's shrinking current account surplus and rising interest rates abroad.

Villar said the weakness was "factored in" by the President's economic team.

"I don't expect it to have a major effect on our projects. Kung meron man (if there is), I'm sure the Department of Finance is prepared for this," he said.

Duterte plans to build new roads, bridges, railways and airports to bring Philippine infrastructure to its "golden age" and help sustain the momentum of one of Asia's fastest-growing economies.

Villar said some projects scheduled to start in 2018, would be started this year.