Washington, DC — “The Philippines has come a long way, but it is now recognized globally as among the fastest growing and most resilient economies in the world. Its prospects are bright. However, the transformation was a product of a long list of structural reforms. It did not happen overnight,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said in a forum held at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. on 16 October 2019.
The Philippine recorded its 82nd consecutive quarter of uninterrupted economic growth in the second quarter of 2019. “This shows that we have managed to sail through the toughest external challenges from the Asian financial crisis to the global financial crisis,” Governor Diokno also pointed out.
The Philippines’ inflation, which has been reduced and within-target, is reportedly credited to a series of monetary actions by the BSP combined with administrative and legislative measures that addressed bottlenecks to the food supply. Inflation fell to 0.9 percent in September 2019 and is expected to settle at 2.5 percent in 2019, and 2.9 percent for both 2020 and 2021.
The country’s external position is also described as strong, reflective of an economy driven by solid macroeconomic fundamentals and firm growth prospects. The lower deficit in the trade-in-goods account, the increased trade-in-services net receipts, and the rising investor confidence resulting in higher foreign direct investments manifest said strength.
Governor Diokno noted that the robust and stable banking system likewise offers a sound basis for optimism. Banks remain sufficiently capitalized, and their past due ratios have consistently declined over the years. Stability is also supported by financial sector reforms, cybersecurity and technology risk management; counter-terrorist financing; and capital market development.
“Our financial system is sound, and it continues to effectively intermediate funds to productive sectors, thus promoting economic growth,” he added.
Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said that the Bangko Sentral has always been the bulwark of continuity and stability, and we are honored to provide a platform in Washington D.C. for Governor Diokno to talk about the Philippine economy and our reform process. “We are confident that with Governor Diokno guiding Philippine monetary policy, there will be continued business and investor confidence in the country.”
Among the guests at the Forum were Philippine Monetary Board Member Peter B. Favila, former US Ambassador to the Philippines Thomas Hubbard, BSP Deputy Governor Francis Dakila, other officials of the BSP, US government officials, US corporate executives, Embassy officers & staff, and some members of the Filipino-American community.
The Forum was organized and hosted by the Philippine Embassy and the US-Philippines Society with the support of the US-ASEAN Business Council.