Press Release
September 17, 2008


Government agencies tasked to regulate the Philippine market has been told to be very vigilant as fear grips the world market with the collapse of the Lehman Brothers in the United States.

Senator Chiz Escudero, Senate's Ways and Means Committee chairman said these agencies which include the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Finance, Department of Trade and Industry, National Economic Development Authority, Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Stock Exchange to consolidate its efforts and resources in supervising and examining the financial sector to spot any potential problems way ahead before it hit the market.

"Of course we want to stop the financial problems brought about by the US crisis. That is a responsibility that the government should be doing. But that is just one of the jobs that lie ahead. The biggest responsibility of these regulators is to spot anything before it blows up into a real problem."

Escudero said that identifying potential threats in the market is most important because it can provide companies ways and means to mitigate circumstances. "If companies are prepared, they won't be caught flat footed amid the emerging threats and problems."

As this developed, the senator also urged Philippine companies to exercise transparency in their business dealings to assure the public of the strength and proper ethical conduct of their businesses.

"In the face of this global economic fear, our local financial companies should leave no room for doubt about its internal strength. Externally, the market may be volatile but local financial strength should be highlighted so as not to dampen both the public and investor's confidence."

Amid the global economic crunch, Escudero said the government should rise up to the occasion to allay fear among the public and to provide insulating mechanism to the global shock.

"We credit the government for starting to give economic bulletins through briefings and they should do this regularly. This will help in calming people who in their fear of a full impact of the crisis, might hold back from spending. When people begin hold back and stop from spending, there will be an economic slow down in the country which will prove more dangerous to the economy."

He said government should take the lead in showing confidence in the Philippine economy by spending more on infrastructure, education and social services.

"If and when people start stashing their money away from the market, the government should fill the vacuum that will be created by this. The economy should be kept afloat."

It is best for the government to find ways to provide budget for capital expenditures not only to mitigate the current global financial meltdown but also to gain public and investors' confidence in the RP economy now and in the future, he ended.

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