Pernia tells IMF trade imbalance under control

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Measures have since been in place to address the country’s widening trade imbalance, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said on Friday.

This, after Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, along with others at the Cabinet economic managers represented the country at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

According to Pernia, the actions undertaken by the government to address the widening trade gap are in context with making financing more inclusive.

“We need to boost financial services to help our small and medium enterprises (SME). More importantly, such services will establish an inclusive financial sector,” he said.

The measures include Republic Act 11057 or the Personal Property Security Act which was ratified 17 August, which reinforces legalities in using personal property as collateral as well as the establishment of a modern, centralized online collateral registry, said the cabinet secretary.

“We expect this to make financing more accessible to Filipino SME, including export-oriented firms,” Pernia said.

“The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is also strengthening retail payments systems by adopting the National Retail Payments Systems framework or NRPS. This should facilitate more convenient, affordable, and secure electronic fund transfers and payments,” Pernia added.
Increased credit guarantees reaching P50 billion for SME exporters will also be delivered through the Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency (PhilEXIM).

PhilEXIM, an attached agency of the Department of Finance, grants guarantees to facilitate foreign loans of export-oriented industries, public utilities as well as those registered with the Board of Investments.

In all, Pernia said the Philippine Development Plan 2017 to 2022 reflects the need for a resilient and inclusive financial sector which will incorporate strategies such as strengthening the effectiveness of financial inclusion initiatives, encouraging efficiency and innovation in microfinance and microinsurance and developing the legal infrastructure for Islamic finance, among others.

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