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17/10/2008: Philippine Economic Managers Welcomed at Embassy

Minister Carlos D. Sorreta (left) introduce (l-r): Finance Secretary Margarito Teves, Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr.

10 October 2008, Washington, DC – the Philippines’ Economic Team -- Finance Secretary Margarito B. Teves, Budget and Management Secretary Rolando Andaya, and Socio-Economic Secretary Ralph Recto, were welcomed at the Philippine Embassy by its officers and staff as well as the members of the Filipino-American community.

Secretary Teves (inset) assures the audience that the Philippines will weather the current financial and credit storm

At that event, the country’s economic managers took the opportunity to assuage concerns of the Filipino-American community over the effects of the current financial crisis on the Philippines and on the implications on them and their investments in the Philippines.  In his remarks, Finance Secretary Tevesstressed that while the Philippines will most assuredly feel the effects of a global financial and credit crunch, the macro-economic fundamentals put in place by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo remain sound and stable.  Secretary Teves emphasized that the Government is closely watching developments in the United States as well as in Europe and have taken aggressive measures to mitigate the consequences of a global recession on the Philippines.

Budget and Management Secretary Andaya, for his part, echoing Secretary Teves’ assessment, also assured the audience that the Arroyo Government’s fiscal and economic reform polices has put the Philippines in a good position to lessen the effects of the global financial crisis for the Filipino people.  He further stressed that the Philippines’ budget surplus and foreign currency reserves will help cushion the negative effects of this contagion.  This assessment was shared by Socio-Economic Secretary Recto, who also emphasized that with the strong and stable economic fundamentals of the country, the resiliency of the Philippine economy will continue and could have the potential for one of the few economies to ride out this financial crisis.

President Arroyo’s economic team, in a nutshell, characterized the Philippine economy as a widely diversified economy that is driven by the President’s priority projects and sectors and her vision for a world-class Philippines in 20 years, along with the increasing remittances of Filipino workers overseas.  The audience were assured that measures are in place and the Philippine economy will weather the financial storm.

(l-r) Secretary Andaya, Secretary Recto and Governor Tetangco stress that the country’s macro-economic fundamentals are strong, stable and diversified.

The economic managers were joined by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, National Treasurer Roberto Tan, and other officials of the Department of Finance.  They all composed the Philippine Delegation to the Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank held on 12-13 October 2008, which also included: Senators Edgardo Angara and Jinggoy Estrada, Congressman Jaime Lopez, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo, the captains of the leading Philippine Financial Institutions, and officials of the DOF and BSP.

Ambassador Willy Gaa hosted a luncheon for the Philippine Delegation at this official residence on 12 October 2008.  END