Philippines weighs steps to best boost its slumping currency


THE Philippines is closely watching the foreign currency market to see what’s the best course of action to aid a slumping peso as part of broader moves to control inflation, according to Economic Planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

“We are monitoring also the developments closely so we can also deploy our monetary tools like the interest rate, for example, and how we can intervene in the financial market to tame the depreciation of the peso,” Balisacan told a briefing on Tuesday (Oct 18) after a Cabinet meeting where President Ferdinand Marcos Jr discussed inflation, exchange rate and interest rates with his team.

The peso has lost more than 13 per cent this year and kept on retracing a record-low 59 against the US dollar this month. The Philippine central bank said it may add to South-east Asia’s steepest rate hike this year with a possible 75-basis-point increase in November. Policymakers are worried that currency weakness is feeding into inflation at risk of quickening to a 13-year high.

The currency rose as much as 0.3 per cent on Tuesday after hitting 59 on Monday.

“We are on track, and we are not detracted by these developments in achieving our short term and medium term goals,” Balisacan said of the Philippine economy. The government is assuring Filipinos “of its vigilance and steadfast commitment to monitoring and managing these risks.” BLOOMBERG