January 18, 2017, 1:10 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07373 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.57378 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03554 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31799 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02683 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03594 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04015 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.59024 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03683 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00756 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.69343 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02866 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13752 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06466 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3697 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.21257 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 401.92732 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03975 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02636 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02027 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 13.25216 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13857 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.08452 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.94158 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08352 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51054 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.5802 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14047 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93074 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20173 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29553 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37844 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45091 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01889 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04186 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08489 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.88376 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 186.70949 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15123 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.106 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15569 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45774 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14162 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28749 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.79984 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 267.35595 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07659 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.3682 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.7101 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 649.86949 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28267 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.57599 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01421 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28719 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08292 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.39468 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 80.11845 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 9.27525 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 18.06866 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 23.72214 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00613 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01646 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.68681 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 163.9229 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 30.21682 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.01144 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82694 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27103 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06121 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01246 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02868 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20159 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.40323 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.15559 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.06284 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 49.94981 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16036 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.12387 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.72014 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30797 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.38807 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43213 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08957 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27209 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.32403 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58975 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17069 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1843 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02826 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00773 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06745 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06333 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.10359 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08276 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 116.05701 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0731 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08481 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19264 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.31379 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07528 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15698 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26272 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12864 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17904 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02867 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01668 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44581 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 146.29592 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.96165 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 462.93516 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17511 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.33889 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27216 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.7113 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04658 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04632 Tonga Pa'ang
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07556 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1345 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.63521 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.48906 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5529 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 72.37502 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02008 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57519 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 64.9468 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20026 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 453.06163 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.15479 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05167 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.38747 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05421 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.49508 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24312 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 5.01706 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.27219 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 104.1859 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.26561 Zimbabwe dollar

PH: Making a difference in 2014 and beyond

By AMANDO TETANGCO  
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor 
 
 
The Philippine economy sustained its growth momentum in 2013 even as the economy experienced pockets of turbulence brought about mainly by uncertainty in the external environment. For the first three quarters, GDP increased by 7.4 percent, higher than the 6.7 percent in the same period in 2012. Growth was boosted by the strong performances of services, manufacturing and construction sectors. On the expenditure side, growth came mainly from consumer and public spending as well as increased investments in fixed capital (i.e., construction activities and investments on durable equipment). Indeed, the economy has continued to run on all cylinders. More important, economic growth has been supported by key policy reforms as well as sound macroeconomic policies. The continuation of structural reforms and prudent economic and financial policies is expected to make a difference in 2014 and beyond.  
 
The stance of monetary policy during the year was consistent with the inflation objective while being supportive of productive activities. The full-year 2013 average inflation rate of 3.0 percent was at the low end of the Government’s inflation target range of 3-5 percent for 2013. This is the fifth consecutive year that the inflation has been kept within the Government’s target range. The BSP also continued to fine-tune its monetary policy toolkit to enhance its effectiveness in maintaining price stability and addressing potential imbalances in the financial system that may disrupt the proper functioning of the monetary and financial system.
 
The continuing wide-ranging reforms of the BSP to improve its regulatory framework and supervisory oversight over the banking system have been one of the BSP’s major commitments over the years. The BSP has pursued reforms toward strengthening corporate governance, enhancing transparency, expanding financial products and markets, helping develop the necessary market infrastructure, and strengthening banking regulation and guidelines. These policy actions proved to be effective to the extent that banks in the country are now in a much better shape than years ago. In an increasing globally integrated financial market, the transmission of contagion risks has become faster and swifter. At the same time, the BSP has adopted a menu of macroprudential measures to complement the monetary policy toolkit to better respond to challenges of maintaining financial stability.
 
Furthermore, the BSP has also devised better risk assessment tools to monitor developments in the financial and foreign exchange markets for an early detection of signs of distress. These financial reforms resulted in adequate capitalization and significant improvements in the quality of their assets.
 
 Inclusive system
 
The BSP has also devoted considerable effort in building an inclusive financial system. It formulated a financial inclusion framework that is built on three areas, namely: (1) broad access to credit at reasonable rates through responsible and proportionate regulation that encourages market innovation; (2) timely and relevant economic and financial learning activities; and (3) well-founded financial consumer protection programs. 
 
The BSP has been proactively promoting the development of microfinance since 2000, as a flagship program for poverty alleviation. The BSP has also received international recognition for the significant strides it has made in microfinance. For five years in a row (2009-2013), the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global survey on microfinance has ranked the Philippines as number one in the world in terms of policy and regulatory framework for microfinance and is consistently in the top 10 overall which includes other criteria such as institutional frameworks and stability. Meanwhile, the Credit Surety Fund (CSF) Program is a credit enhancement scheme developed by the BSP which aims to increase the creditworthiness of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are experiencing difficulty in obtaining loans from banks due to lack of acceptable collaterals, credit knowledge and credit track records. The purpose of the CSF Program is to serve as a security for loans of MSMEs from banking institutions by providing a surety cover in lieu of acceptable collaterals. Banks generally require collaterals when extending loans, a requirement that some MSMEs often find difficult to comply. As of 30 November 2013, 29 CSFs have been established in 22 provinces and 7 cities nationwide. Total loans approved under this facility has reached almost P1 billion.  
 
The BSP’s Economic and Financial Learning Program (EFLP) is the flagship program for economic and financial education. This is in line with the BSP’s continuing drive to promote greater awareness and understanding of essential economic and financial issues to help the public acquire knowledge and develop the skills needed to make well-informed economic and financial decisions and choices. Finally, the BSP has also strengthened its financial consumer protection efforts by creating a consumer redress mechanism within the BSP. 
 
Buffer against shocks 
 
The country’s external payment position has likewise remained favorable. This has provided the country substantial cushion to ride out not only the potential headwinds but also the shocks that the external economy could face.
 
The country’s current account continued to exhibit a surplus as overseas Filipino remittances, BPO receipts and tourism revenues provided steady sources of foreign exchange. This situation allowed the BSP to increase the country’s gross international reserves to reach US$83.7 billion as of end-December 2013, enough to cover 12.1 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income and equivalent to 8.4 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.8 times based on residual maturity. The BSP’s commitment to improve further external debt management resulted in the decline in the external debt-to-GDP ratio to 21.9 percent in end-September 2013 from the previous year’s ratio of 25.6 percent. 
 
Gains validated
 
The solid macroeconomic fundamentals and sound economic management did not escape the attention of the investment community. The country obtained investment credit rating status from the three major credit rating institutions. Fitch was the first to raise the country’s credit rating status to investment grade on 27 March 2013. Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s followed suit on 2 May 2013 and 23 October 2013, respectively. These rating agencies have cited the disciplined fiscal management, declining reliance on foreign currency debt, strong external position, and low and stable inflation levels as the major bases for the credit rating upgrade. In addition, the BSP was recognized as the best macroeconomic regulator in Asia-Pacific Region for 2013 by the Asian Banker. 
 
Headwinds ahead
 
The BSP recognizes potential risks that could disrupt the economic momentum. The country experienced a trilogy of unfortunate events brought by both man-made and natural calamities: the armed conflict in Zamboanga, the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, and typhoon Yolanda which affected several regions in the Visayas during the latter part of 2013. The calamities have shown that our “Bayanihan” spirit is a cultural wealth that could be relied upon particularly in times of distress. In this spirit of working together, the BSP also did its part to help ease the impact of Yolanda by putting in place regulatory relief for banks in the affected areas, so banks could extend the same to their customers. 
 
While these natural calamities have caused economic disruption in some parts of the country, the Philippines is expected to weather such adverse effects on the back of strong macroeconomic fundamentals and sustain the growth momentum.
 
Global headwinds could also cause bumpy rides along the way. While latest report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects a higher global economic growth for 2014, there could be a reversal of economic fortunes between advanced and emerging market economies that could tip the growth momentum toward the former. This could result in portfolio rebalancing away from emerging market economies that may cause short-term imbalances among prices of financial assets. The country, however, has enough ammunition to withstand the adverse impact of a sudden capital flows reversal away from emerging market economies. The BSP can deploy a menu of policy actions similar to those adopted during the recent 2008-2009 global financial crisis such as providing liquidity through the BSP’s standing dollar facilities, preventing excessive volatility in the foreign exchange market, as well as access to regional financing arrangements. Moreover, improving economic conditions in advanced economies could translate to higher exports receipts, foreign investments, tourism receipts and workers’ remittances from these countries.
 
Optimistic outlook
 
The outlook on Philippine growth and inflation remains favorable. The economy is expected to grow between 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2014, with recovery and rehabilitation efforts expected to bolster growth.  
 
For the medium-term, growth would be supported by stronger performance from the construction, manufacturing, business process outsourcing and private services. The country’s attainment of investment grade status could attract not only foreign but also spur local investments that would in turn generate jobs.
 
Inflation is expected to remain within the target range over the policy horizon. In 2014, inflation is seen to be around slightly higher than the mid-point of the target range of 3-5 percent.
 
On course
 
On monetary policy, the BSP is committed to maintaining price stability conducive to a balanced, sustainable and inclusive economic growth. 
 
On financial sector policy, the BSP commits to promote the stability of the financial system by continuing to craft banking regulations that are responsive, consistent with best practices and in line with the international financial architecture reform agenda. 
 
On the external front, the BSP remains supportive of policies that will help cushion the economy from external shocks. We will continue to maintain a market-determined exchange rate and a comfortable level of reserves. The BSP will also continue to promote external debt sustainability by keeping the country’s outstanding external debt manageable and within the economy’s capacity to service its debt in an orderly manner.
 
In conclusion, the BSP will continue to guard against complacency and remain committed to implement monetary and financial sector policies that are supportive of the country’s economic development. While 2014 is expected to be a narrative of continued economic strength, we will guard against tail events, both domestically- and externally-driven, and stay on the course. 
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