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BSP Governor Buenaventura's Statement in Response to Wall Street Journal Article on Philippine Current Account Surplus

01.07.2003

In response to the issue raised by the Wall Street Journal article with regard to the Philippine Current Account Surplus, please be informed that the inter-agency task force on the Balance of Payments has been addressing this over the past year and is, in fact, nearing conclusion. This has been discussed with the rating agencies during their annual visits and the task force is working within the guidelines of the International Monetary Fund's reporting system. The task force consists of the BSP, the National Statistics Office, the National Economic and Development Authority, the National Statistics Coordination Board, the Bureau of Customs, and the Philippine Export Zone Authority.

The preliminary results show that while the trade balance may be overstated, this has an offsetting effect on the capital account, particularly on short-term capital outflows. This suggests that the outflow of short-term capital is, in fact, smaller than initially reported.

The offsetting effect on short-term capital also means that the overall Balance of Payments will not change and the issue will have no impact on the Gross and Net international reserves level of the Philippines.

Results of the study which will reflect a better and more accurate picture of the country’s financial accounts will be released as soon as the numbers have been finalized by the inter-agency task force.

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