Bankers laud ‘peaceful and orderly election’

Published May 12, 2022, 2:55 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The country’s big banks on Thursday, May 12, expressed their relief of the “generally peaceful and orderly” national elections last Monday.

Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) President Antonio C. Moncupa Jr. said in a statement that the organization also congratulates presumptive president-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr..

“We have a generally peaceful and orderly election, that is positive for the economy,” said Moncupa who is also president and CEO of East West Banking Corp.

Bankers Association of the Philippines

“On the other hand, there are considerable headwinds facing the economy – geopolitical uncertainties, inflation, and the lingering effects of the pandemic. We wish the new administration well in meeting these challenges,” he added.

The BAP as a group of 44 commercial and universal banks said they are looking forward to work with the incoming Marcos administration to “ensure a strong, stable, and well-functioning financial system to support the nation’s development goals.”

Two weeks before the May 9 polls, former BAP president and BDO Unibank Inc. president and CEO, Nestor V. Tan, said the new administration should focus on fighting cybersecurity criminals.

Meantime, Bank of the Philippine Islands president and CEO, Jose Teodoro “TG” K. Limcauco, said the new government should strengthen financial inclusion.

Tan also emphasized on the need to have “tighter” regulations against digital-related crimes. He added that the next president of the Philippines should revisit the banking industry in general in terms of strategic planning, and how it could compete in the ASEAN regional trade bloc.

Presently, the Commission on Elections and the non-partisan, non-sectarian and non-profit organization the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting or PPCRV are officially canvassing voting results from Monday. Marcos, the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos’ son, is leading in the presidential race.

JP Morgan Global Research on Tuesday has downgraded the Philippines to “underweight” and even ranked it last in the order of preference in ASEAN in its equity investment strategy. It also downgraded the country’s real estate sector to neutral.

Meantime, Fitch Solutions also raised the Philippines Short-Term Political Risk Index Score, while UK-based Oxford Economics has warned of potential credit downgrades if the next administration will pursue expansionary deficit spending.