Diwa C. Guinigundo

Good grip on economic growth

It is quite rare that international financial institutions (IFIs) and economic think tanks share a consensus view on the Philippines’ economic prospects. But just recently it looks like there’s unanimity among them that our real GDP growth for the second quarter and for the whole of 2023 could face a possible slowdown.

Conflicting signals?

With lower inflation forecasts for 2023 through 2025, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Monetary Board decided to take a pause in its series of monetary tightening that started last year. This means its policy rate, based on the overnight reverse repurchase facility (RRP), was kept at 6.25 percent as well as the overnight deposit and lending facilities maintained at 5.75 percent and 6.75 percent, respectively.

Economic debacle and PM Virata’s humility

Last month’s IMF-World Bank spring meetings always reminded me of the visit of former Prime Minister (PM) Cesar Virata when I served as alternate executive director of the Fund in Washington, DC in 2001-2003. He had nobody to assist him. He himself called me up from the Fund lobby and asked if I could spare time for coffee. I decided against having coffee at the Fund atrium or outside because thousands of guests packed the District of Columbia.  Instead, I invited him up to my office and brewed some Arabica.

Fiscal policy that supports fight against inflation

It’s quite easy to understand for inflation watchers to consider a possible pause  in the current monetary policy tightening cycle beginning this May. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has time and again indicated it is open to such a possibility should inflation continue to trend down and the Philippine peso sustain relative stability.

Rice terraces, the Church and nation transformation

It was exhilarating, that experience to see the fabled rice terraces of the Cordilleras. Years ago, we managed to do both the western and eastern sides of Northern Philippines. In Ilocos Norte, we were just simply amazed at the beaches of Pasuquin and Pagudpud. They’re pristine, so unspoiled then. In Tuguegarao, Cagayan, it was in-structive to visit Callao Cave in Peñablanca which houses the oldest known remains of an early human species.