Peso ‘weakness’ not denting infra

August 29, 2018

The depreciation of the Philippine peso will not delay the roll-out of government's infrastructure program, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said Tuesday.

During the 2nd Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) Economic Forum, Villar said the weaker currency may affect project costs due to higher prices of imported construction materials, but will not result in a “major impact” to the Build Build Build Program of the administration.

It was also feared that the appetite of investors to develop infrastructure projects might be affected with the higher cost to build.

“There is an impact with regards to [the cost of] materials… But we have mechanisms to counter these effects,” said Villar.

He mentioned that DPWH is reviewing quarterly the prices of construction materials and can provide “some flexibilities” to adjust from the fluctuation of foreign exchange rate.

“More or less, this cost can be absorbed,” he said.

The local currency has depreciated by more than 6 percent against a dollar this year.

On Tuesday, peso closed to PHP53.32 against the greenback.