By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo Lacson said Tuesday all Filipinos should worry when key economic managers of the country say that the weakness of the Philippine peso “is nothing to worry about.’’
Lacson issued the statement to take issue with National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Pernia and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Benjamin Diokno on their apparent “nonchalant’’ attitude on the weakening of the peso vis-à-vis the US dollar.
“For one, our offshore debt stands at US$73.1 billion. In July 2016, or exactly two years ago, the peso-US dollar rate was PhP47.30 per US$1. Now, it has shrunk to an all-time low at P53.40 per US$1,’’ he said.
Lacson said one does not have to be a rocket scientist that right off, the government would have to pay an extra P445.9 billion with the P6.1 difference.
“Add to that the fact that the manufacturing sector imports a great portion of their raw materials,’’ he said.
“Pray tell me if we shouldn’t be concerned,’’ he added.