The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) today said Philippine exports data it receives from National Statistics Office (NSO) are satisfactory and provide a reliable barometer against which to track the performance of the export industry. In fact, NSO has made improvements in the monitoring of import data since certain weaknesses were identified by the BSP in 2001.
Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri, who was present at the hearing conducted yesterday by House oversight committee chair Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, also expressed confidence in the NSO trade figures. NSO is an agency under National Economic and Development Authority which Sec. Neri heads.
The BSP categorically states that as a professional institution, it remains true to its mandate for accuracy and transparency. As such, it continues to cooperate with various institutions on possible further refinements on data monitoring. At the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Import Statistics headed by NEDA, BSP is a member along with the National Statistical Coordination Board, Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The BSP added that progress made in the monitoring of trade data has improved its balance of payments (BOP) statistics, a compilation system dependent on data sourced from several agencies and institutions. This includes NSO for trade statistics and bank reports for export receipts. Improvements in trade data monitoring continue to be made following the liberalization of the country’s foreign trade receipts and payments system in the early 1990s.
Under a liberalized regime, export receipts are no longer required to be remitted to the Philippine banking system. Exporters could use their receipts to, among others, purchase debt papers issued abroad (which include RP Government debt instruments) as part of their portfolio diversification; hold these export receipts in their bank accounts abroad; offset their export receipts against their inter-company accounts; or hold these proceeds in their Foreign Currency Deposit Units (FCDU) accounts. Thus, exporters have gained flexibility in terms of handling export receipts since remittance to the banking system is no longer required.