By JIMMY CALAPATI
[ Malaya.com.ph ] December 15, 2008
As the global crunch worsens, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Amando Tetangco said the country still has "bright spots" the country can take advantage of.
"As companies become more conscious of cost, I believe our BPO (business process outsourcing) centers will maintain their competitiveness," he said.
According to Tetangco, other growth drivers include mining and the high demand for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
He added that demand for medical workers remain high and unaffected by recession.
Tetangco said that for the banking sector in particular, the banking and monetary policy reforms they have instituted some years back placed the country "in a better position to weather further negative impact of the general global slowdown."
Tetangco said that "because of an appropriately prudent banking regulatory structure" the country’s domestic banks "are now well capitalized and have the healthiest balance sheets in at least 10 years."
"These have provided banks room to absorb further shocks from the current global financial stress," he said.
He noted that the phased opening up of the system to financial innovation has also resulted in banks that are less exposed to structured products of the troubled global financial institutions.
"The relatively stronger external position has allowed us to be less dependent on the international capital markets for our financing requirements and provided some cushion against volatilities in the exchange rate that have resulted from risk aversion towards emerging economies," Tetangco said.
He also noted of inflation as a barometer for the country’s growth, saying that the discipline of the inflation targetting framework that they adopted in 2002 has helped the BSP focus more on its primary mandate of price stability.
"I believe we have been fairly successful at keeping inflation at manageable levels and this has engendered a stable macro environment for business and investment planning," Tetangco said.