Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas—a renowned economist, Center for Research and Communication director, and University of the Asia Pacific co-founder and professor—predicts the easing of inflation towards the end of the year. Speaking before lawyers, staff, and select clients of DivinaLaw, he said the flooding in of OFW remittances will further help stabilize the peso as against the dollar and the government’s continuing Build Build Build thrust will continue to spur economic growth. He explained that the current inflation rate is caused primarily by external factors such as oil prices which is at US$82 per barrel, as well as the improvement of the US economy.
The flight of foreign investors as a result of TRAIN 2, will likely not take place according to him, with the Senate taking a stand against provisions canceling tax incentives to industries under PEZA. He likewise remains confident in the country’s economic managers. As long as the engines for growth— the BPO and IT industries, infrastructure, domestic tourism, overseas Filipino workers, public-private partnerships, agriculture, manufacturing, and the young and growing population— are attended to, he said Filipinos can remain bullish despite negative issues being raised against the government. On the issue of charter change, he asserted that rather than the form of government, the amendment should be the removal of restrictions on foreign investments. These restrictions, he explains, affect the country’s competitiveness vis-à-vis its ASEAN neighbors.
Dr. Villegas’s talk is the first of the DL Talks series happening every month at DivinaLaw whereby subject matter experts are invited on topics that are not only of interest to the Firm’s lawyers and staff but may also be relevant to its clients.