[Excerpt] The Philippines which lies at the heart of Southeast Asia is a viable place for doing business.The country’s economy continues to grow despite the unabated political noise.
The Philippine Peso ended 2005 as the best performer in Asia, with a 6.01 percent gain for the year, boosted by hefty inflows of remittances from Filipinos working overseas and optimism about the government’s fiscal reform program and lower yields at the regular treasury bill auction.
The Philippine Stock Exchange, on the other hand, registered the second fastest growth rate in Southeast Asia in 2005. The Philippine Composite Index (Phisix) went up by 14.99 percent last year, trailing the Jakarta Composite Index of Indonesia which went up 16.24 percent.
The Filipino workforce is another key advantage of the Philippines.The literacy rate in the country is among the highest in the region and around 350,000 highly trainable graduates add to the professional pool every year.
On the political front, the Philippine government has been working on the proposal to change the present presidential system to a parliamentary-federal form of government through a charter change, in order to fast track the enactment of legislative measures and the delivery of public services to the provinces. The 1987 Constitution provides for a presidential system of government with a bicameral Congress.