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Aquino allays fears over strong peso.

currency rate to remain firm at 43

Manila President Benigno Aquino assured that the peso-dollar exchange will stabilise in the coming weeks amid concerns by Filipino expatriates that the continued strengthening of the Philippine currency will affect the amount of money they are sending home.

Speaking to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Vietnam on Wednesday, Aquino said that the peso will remain firm within the present level of 43 pesos (Dh3.64) to the dollar.

He said the government is ready to intervene in the currency market if necessary.

"What we want is a stable peso. The intervention of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank) in the market is needed to preserve the value of the peso," Aquino was quoted in a statement issued by the presidential palace in Manila on a speech he gave before OFWs in Ho Chi Minh City.

The president said the government has the capability to intervene on the currency market because it has high gross national reserves.

Most Filipino expatriates send the money they earn from their jobs abroad back home to their families. The US dollar is the principal currency used in money transfers and often,

Filipino expatriates are paid in dollars or other currencies which are pegged to the US currency. A decline in the exchange rate could mean less money sent home.

Earlier, Aquino was quoted as saying that the narrowing peso-dollar exchange is a cause for concern as it impacts on the exports sector and remittances from OFWs.

"There is cause for concern. There has to be some stability in terms of the exchange rate," Aquino said in a press briefing last week.

The decline in the US currency's exchange rate against the peso is not solely the result of the improving value of the peso but rather reflects the overall weakening of US currency.

Prior to the May 10 national elections, the peso-dollar had been trading at 43-44 pesos.

Aquino left Manila for Vietnam last Monday for a state visit.

The Philippine leader is currently in Ho Chi Minh City to take part in the two-day Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) leaders summit which ends today.

Asean community

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, leaders of nine Asean countries are expected to discuss measures to accelerate Asean community building process, the implemention of the Asean charter, broadening cooperation with dialogue partners and strengthening cooperation to respond to global challenges.

The Asean aims to establish an Asean Community by 2015.

As the deadline approaches, Asean countries are stepping up efforts in the integration process of the region, which had a total population of 584 million and a combined GDP of $1.5 trillion.

What we want is a stable peso. The intervention of the [Central Bank] in the market is needed to preserve the value of the peso."

Benigno Aquino (above)

Philippine president

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9VIET
Date:Oct 29, 2010
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