A weak peso is actually good for the local industry as it makes export products “more competitive,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.
“It gives a natural protection to the local industry … Basically, it makes exports more expensive, more competitive, better than tariff protection,” Lopez said during the Dutertenomics Forum in Makati City.
The Trade chief noted that other countries intentionally depreciate their currency.
The peso has been trading above the 50-to a-dollar level, or at its weakest in nearly 11 years.
Lopez said that a weaker peso also benefits overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families.
“Every time, there’s a slight depreciation of the peso that means more money in the wallet of OFW families,” Lopez said.
“More dispensable income for OFW families … that benefits also consumption,” he said.
At the same forum, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said a strong peso does not mean a strong economy.
“We don’t want the peso to go 48-to-one-dollar, that’s not good for OFWs,” Diokno said.
“We want a competitive exchange rate. You know, there are 10 million OFWs, multiply that to a five-member family that’s around half of all Filipinos benefiting from a weaker peso,” Diokno added. — VDS, GMA News