iTalk by Ismael Amigo
iTalk

Kudos to Mayor EPS; peso seen to weaken further

Sep 30, 2021, 12:25 AM
Ismael Amigo

Ismael Amigo

Columnist

KUDOS is in order for Mayor Edna P. Sanchez of our beloved city of Sto. Tomas for averting a serious accident waiting to happen.

This, after she ordered her men to cover with haste an open manhole right in front of Petron gas station across St. Cabrini Hospital along Maharlika Highway last week.

Truly it was a big hole of a disaster transferred, as we discussed in our previous piece titled “Thank you Mayor EPS but…,” from the spot across Rose and Grace resto but now it’s a matter of “now you see it, now you don’t.” Done. Covered. Safely.

And that public service action was so swift that within an hour after giving out copies of OpinYon Batangas’ previous edition last week, workers almost instantly slammed the two rectangular covers of the gaping manhole back to safety.

Again, on behalf of commuters and motorists alike, we doff our hats for that fastidious action from the office of the mayor and public safety workers.

Yes, we checked with the city’s engineering department and someone told me “parang sa DPWH po ang concern na ‘yan.”

“Well and good,” I retorted, but if -- knock on wood -- a disaster happen in that gaping manhole, the blame would surely go up to the office of the mayor and the national and local media would surely look for a talking head to interview with and that would be no other than Mayor EPS, not the DPWH.

The scenario would be like this: “Negligence of disastrous proportion.”

However, we’re looking at a flipside of this now: “Disaster averted. Thanks to Mayor EPS office’s swift action.

***

Peso seen to weaken further

Owing to the pandemic, the value of the Philippine currency is to weaken further until next year as policy responses are also influencing investor confidence in the economy in general.

In a report dated Sept. 20 by Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research, the independent economic think tank forecasts the peso to trade between P49 to P52 to a dollar in the next three and first quarter of 2022.

The local currency is projected to average at P40.20 to a green buck this year, and at P51 next year, a lot weaker than the research firm’s earlier forecast of P48.10 average for the peso this year and P49.00 average for 2022.

“We at Fitch Solutions expect the Philippine peso to weaken within a wide range over the near term, as uncertainty around the pandemic and its policy response weigh on investor confidence,” the report said.

Last Monday, 20 Sept. 2021, the local unit closed at 50.24 against the US dollar, weaker than its 49-level finishes two weeks ago.

The report said its forecast range for the local currency was based on the continued uncertainty on government measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the loose monetary policy stance, and the weakening fundamentals, with the latter due to the pandemic.

The FS report also said that for the next six to 24 months from now, the peso is “fairly valued relative to its long-term average” based on the real effective exchange rate standpoint.


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