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Arroyo: RP not complacent on US crisis

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 12:57:00 10/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said her government has not been complacent in the face of a meltdown in the United States economy that has affected the rest of the world.

Arroyo said her administration was “working hard” to contain inflation, strengthen the banking system, sustain economic growth, and improve the country’s fiscal health.

“While the situation has been stable, we have not been complacent. We continue to monitor the global situation,” she said in a speech during the opening of the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City, which was aired on government-run radio station dzRB.

“These are hard times. The government is averting the effects of a global economic slowdown brought about by the volatile economic situation,” she added.

The President said maintaining the stability of the country’s food supply was a “major priority” in the face of the global crisis.

On Tuesday, Arroyo’s economic managers started a series of meetings aimed at assessing the impact of the non-passage of the $700-billion bailout for American banks before the US Congress.

Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya had said that if the rescue package would be rejected, the result could be worse than the one that hit Asia in 1997. But he added that with strong economic fundamentals, the country could survive.

US President George W. Bush had proposed the bailout, which would allow the government to buy bad loans by banks. It is the biggest rescue package since the Great Depression in the 1920s, according to wire reports.

The US House of Representatives rejected the bailout plan in a vote on Monday, sending world markets tumbling. Another round of voting could be held within the week.

On Tuesday, the Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi) closed down 37.93 points or 1.45 percent to 2,569.65, while the peso weakened to P47.05 to the dollar, from P46.99 to the greenback on Monday.

Manila markets are closed on Wednesday, which was declared a national holiday to mark the Eid’l Fitr, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-10-01T11:03:16+00:00UTC10bUTCWed, 01 Oct 2008 11:03:16 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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