Economic prospects-A A +A
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
PROOF that the Philippines may be approaching a period of truly optimistic economic circumstance is the recent Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) revelation that its regional collection may exceed the targeted P14-billion goal in the Cebu area alone.
This is backed by the collections of the five revenue districts here that totaled P1.187 billion in one month alone, exceeding its target of P1.136 billion by P50.6 million or 4.45 per cent. This development was, in turn, strengthened by critics-analysts who said that now is the best time to invest in the Philippines.
The head of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) capital markets development division, affirms this view. The PSE has been “breaking record highs 21 times in seven months this year.” In fact, the PSE official said, three Cebu companies belonging to the power and water sectors are interested to join the PSE listing.
During a forum, he said that in the early years, “about 70 percent of the listed companies were foreign-owned. However, as of the first quarter of this year, domestic-owned companies outnumber foreign-owned companies at 60 percent.”
PSE official Leonardo Quinitio said this is a positive development for the Philippines. He assured that the country’s stock market is supported by a “sound macroeconomic environment and resiliency of stock market indicators.” These indicators “such as inflation, interest rates, external debt as a percentage of GDP and Philippine gross international reserves are trending towards the positive side.”
The point is that these factors are drawing international attention to the Philippines. International analysts and investors have taken notice as capital began flowing into the market and the country has earned upgrades in sovereign debt ratings that makes many believe that investment status is within reach.
In this wise, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas measured confidence index rose to 40.5 percent for the first quarter of the 2012 from 38.7 percent in the last quarter of 2011. On top of these earlier indications, a noted economist is said to have expressed optimism that the Philippines can grow seven to ten percent in the next ten years if it would start looking at emerging countries as trade partners, “amend the economic provisions Constitution and kill the reproductive health (RH) bill.
“The Philippines is facing the brightest prospects in the next ten years, the brightest it has ever faced.” The noted economist asserted “that achieving the growth is not impossible.”
I could join economist Bernardo Villegas, and say, ”Me, too, I feel the same way.” But I would rather keep my stand to myself, to appear truly neutral as my Catholic parents would have done.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2012.