Peso still in 'tolerable range' - government

By Mia Gonzales, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jul 05 2012 07:53 AM | Updated as of Jul 05 2012 03:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is not concerned about the current strength of the peso—at its highest in four years—as it is within the “tolerable range” or at a level that is not detrimental to the export industry, a Palace official said on Wednesday.

Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) told a news briefing that Malacañang is fine with the strengthening peso, for as long as it is at the same pace with other exporting countries in the region.

“What’s important is that the peso’s strength does not hinder our ability to export or to compete with other countries. So if the peso appreciates, and let’s say the Thai baht and the rupiah appreciate, we’re okay with that as long as things are relatively the same between us and our [rival] countries,” he said.

Carandang, a member of the Cabinet economic cluster, said P41.72 to the US dollar, the closing exchange rate on Tuesday, was “within the tolerable range.”

“It’s in a range where we do not see any disruptions…. Right now, the peso where it is, is still at a range where we don’t see it causing difficulties for the economy,” he added.

Carandang added that the peso’s strength will be a concern if it “appreciates significantly more than the other currencies to the point where it was hurting our exports, then that would be a concern.”

“If it got to the point where the relative price of Philippine goods became prohibitively expensive, then it would be a concern. Right now, we’re not seeing that happen,” he said.

Carandang added that the peso rising to P41.72 to the US dollar and the stock market reaching a new record high of 5,365.70 on Tuesday “are all expressions of confidence by the market.”