You probably saw this in the news: the Philippine economy, as measured by gross domestic product, grew by 6.8% in the fourth quarter, bringing full-year growth to 6.6%, above the upper-end of the national government target.
I was at the press conference this morning and one of the questions raised during the Q&A portion really caught my attention. The reporter was asking Neda Director General Balisacan to comment about how the country seems to be unable to maximize the benefits of the Philippine Peso appreciation. Given that the value of currency has sky rocketed, I guess it is safe to assume that it would be less costly for us to import top-of-the-line machinery and other equipment that would further boost productivity.
Baliscan enumerated several reasons why the appreciation of the Peso, if kept unchecked, would mean disaster to exporters and to the families dependent on OF remittances.
I think the guy's point was not given the appreciation it deserved. He makes a valid argument. We haven't seen this level of the Peso values since 2002. We should might as well make the most out of it. Sure exporters would feel the pinch, but I guess it is reasonable to ask if we're grabbing the opportunity of importing hard capital we need to raise productivity even further.
Technology is one of the prime contributors to efficiency nowadays. If you have the best machines, the best computers, and your workforce is well-trained, then you have no excuse not to be productive.
I'm sure with the value of our currency now, we are in the best position to import the technology we need to boost local productivity. Now is the best time to get the best deal on imported trains, clean buses, cutting-edge software, farm tractors. It makes sense to seize this opportunity.
Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate from 2000-2012