Zamboanga City (Zamboanga Journal / 28 Feb) Philippine leader Gloria Arroyo vowed to work hard to fight poverty and sustain the momentum of the country’s economy and avoid a fallout on the economy from the latest attempt to overthrow her government.
She said she was satisfied that economic indicators remained unshaken by what Malacanang branded as a conspiracy among the political opposition, communist rebels and military adventurists to bring down her administration.
"Thank God, the stock market gained Monday to close more than 19 points, and the peso strengthened, gaining 14 centavos" against the dollar," Arroyo said during a televised roundtable discussion with Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz and members of her economic team –- Finance Secretary Margarito Teves and Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Favila.
She said the government will pour investments into infrastructure and education even as it steps up tax collection to fund development programs."Now government will work triple time to sustain the economic momentum and avoid an economic fallout," she said.
The Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) index advanced 19.43 points Monday to close at 2,089.36 compared to Friday’s close at 2,069.93.
The peso strengthened against the dollar during midday trading on Monday, gaining 14 centavos against the dollar. The peso closed last Friday at P52.20 to $1.
Arroyo explained that the State of National Emergency she declared Friday was to protect the P120 billion business activity in the country and avoid what happened in the aftermath of the 1989 coup against then President Corazon Aquino when the country plunged into an economic recession.
She said the improvement of the economic indicators could be attributed to the peaceful resolution of the Marines standoff. But she added that it is not yet time for Filipinos cheer as "the only meaningful success is to be successful in fighting poverty.We can only claim credit when we get a credit upgrade," she said.