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Metro Opinion

The Swings

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

President Junior left yesterday for a two-nation swing with Indonesia as the first stop, his inaugural/ state visit since he took the reign of Malacanang, after which he goes to the island state of Singapore.

Junior’s drumbeaters tagged the visit to Indonesia and Singapore underscores the significance of the country’s relations with its regional peers. Honestly, the two-nation swing is a good step for Junior and the Philippine delegation to take considering that it will be under his term that the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Economic Community will be fully integrated.

Based on the timetable, the ASEAN Economic Community three years from now, in 2025, shall be highly integrated and cohesive, competitive, innovative and dynamic; with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; and a more resilient, inclusive, and people-oriented, people-centred community, integrated with the global economy.”

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While, I agree and recognize the importance of having close relationships with our regional peers.

Isn’t surprising, though, that Junior and the late President Corazon “Tita Cory” C. Aquino chose Indonesia as their first overseas trip.

Sometime in August 1986, Mrs. Aquino embarked on a two-nation swing, which was her first state visit with Indonesia as the first stop. From there, however, she flew to Malaysia.   

Interestingly, though, history tells us that on the eve of her departure a number of Tita Cory’s advisers suggested that she cancels her trip because of the threat of a power grab from supporters of deposed President Marcos, Junior’s father.

And the issues on the table: same old promotion of economic cooperation.

Now, for another swing, the peso hugged the limelight last Friday after it nearly crossed the P57 to a dollar, the lowest ever recorded since October 14, 2004 when the currency hit P56.45.

Since the onset of the year, the peso has been gradually depreciating from P51.05 at the start of the first trading day of 2022, it crossed to P52.28 in March and swings like a pendulum from P51.89 to P51.32 in April, before staying relatively within the highs of P51 and the lows of P52 range.

Tracking its pathways, the peso jumped to P53 level on June 8, slumping down further to P54 and hitting the P55 mark on the first day of July. It further skidded to P56.04 and hit an intraday low of P56.90 last Friday.

What does this mean for those earning dollars and recipients of remittances from overseas Filipino workers? Allow me to fill you in. It means more peso for a dollar value. 

However, the increase in the amount of local money of dollar beneficiaries is offset by the increase in the prices of basic commodities. Instead of feeling bliss, it’s actually disappointing because the gain is just eaten up by the hike.

The feeling of deja vu engulfed me with the first swing bringing me back some 36 years and the second swing 18 years ago.     

For comments and feedbacks, email me at fillmein330


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