Philippine Peso Rises Against US Dollar, as Duterte Leads 2016 Presidential Election

Duterte businessmen

The Philippine peso rises against the US dollar, as Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is getting close to win the 2016 presidential election, based on the partial, unofficial election returns from the Commission on Elections (Comelec). This is despite the fact that the front runner presidentiable has no concrete plans for the country’s economy.

According to a report at Bloomberg this Tuesday, May 10, the Philippine peso rose the most in six weeks versus the US dollar, and has also strengthened as compared to all of its 10 Asian peers. The said increase is due to the investors coming in to the country, as Mayor Rody Duterte consistently leads the recent presidential surveys.

“A Duterte win had been flagged for some time now, and the market has already largely priced it in. Julian Wee, a senior market strategist at National Australia Bank Singapore, was quoted in the Bloomberg report, adding that the “the initial signs are mildly positive” as Duterte likely to be the 16th president of the Philippines.

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As of 3:25 pm, this Tuesday, May 10 (Manila time), the Philippine peso reportedly rose to rose 0.7 percent to 46.77 per US dollar. This is after it declined to as much as 0.3 percent this Friday, based on the data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines. Bloomberg noted that last April, the Philippine peso declined 1.8 percent, the worst in Asia.

Philipine Peso Duterte wins

Credit: Bloomberg, Philippine Stocks Exchange

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Interestingly, this is contrary to what Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas said two days before the 2016 presidential elections. That day, Roxas publicly called on Sen. Grace Poe to talk and “unite” with him, in order to beat Duterte. In his mini-press conference, Roxas said, “the peso is dropping and investors are backing out.”

Both Roxas and Poe have already conceded, noting that that they respect the decision of the majority, and congratulated Duterte. Nevertheless, the Comelec’s election returns is yet to be counted officially, especially for the controversial close fight between Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Congresswoman Leni Robredo for vice president.

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Meanwhile, Duterte has already given hint to the media with respect to this upcoming cabinet members. In a recent interview, the front-runner presidentiable said he may have former Agriculture secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III as secretary of Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) or Department of Finance.

For Jesus Dureza, who was Duterte’s high school classmate and was once the peace adviser of former presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo the tough-talking mayor said he may offer him to lead peace talks with Mindanao once again. Dureza is also dubbed for having a good reputation in the business sector.