THE Philippine peso sank on Monday to another record low — P56.999 against the United States dollar — after hitting P56.985 during intraday trading.
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) said the peso lost another 22 centavos on Monday, passing the previous record of P56.77 posted at the Philippine Dealing System (PDS) last Friday.
The BAP said Monday's weighted average exchange rate was P56.94.
The lowest rate the peso has ever been against the dollar before the Monday rate was P56.45 in 2004.
The local currency has shed more than P6 (11.8 percent) in value since the start of the year. It closed at P50.999 to the dollar on January 3, the first trading day of 2022.
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Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael Ricafort warned that the currency could continue to slip in the coming days.
"The expected seasonal increase in importation in third quarter (July-September), in preparation for the expected increase in sales during the holiday season in the fourth quarter (especially the US Thanksgiving in November; Christmas/Yuletide in December until New Year celebrations) [is a catalyst]," Ricafort said in a September 3 report.
He said he hopes the seasonal rise in remittances from overseas Filipinos and export sales revenues converted to pesos, particularly during Christmas, could prop up the peso in the fourth quarter of this year, or from October to December.
The peso depreciated after the US Federal Reserve maintained a hawkish stance, with Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting a tight monetary policy "for some time" until inflation is under control.
In a September 2 tweet, ING Bank Manila's senior economist Nicholas Mapa said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will likely keep a similar hawkish position and bring the interest rate to 4.5 percent by the end of the year.
Despite the BSP's aggressive rate hikes, the peso has remained weak this year versus the dollar.
BSP Governor Felipe Medalla earlier said the bank has done enough to stabilize the currency, and even told The Manila Times that it is not inclined to take any more steps to defend the peso.
"We can say we have done enough. This is not a peso problem; it's a dollar problem," he said.