OFWs still support Duterte despite peso drop

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DUBAI — The Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Dubai still support President Rodrigo Duterte amidst reports of low confidence from foreign investors and the weakening value of the Philippine peso.

The value of Philippine peso against the UAE dirham hovered between P13.06 to P13.12, the lowest in seven years, according to Gemmy Lontoc, UAE Exchange-Southeast Asia corridor marketing head.

“It has been very volatile the past days,” Lontoc said. She said it is hard to predict if it will reach P14 against the dirham in the coming days.

The Philippine peso apparently dropped to a seven-year low and stocks declined after investors pulled their money following international criticism on Duterte’s policies and series of verbal tirades against world leaders — particularly the United States, European Union and United Nations.

Duterte lashed out at the US, EU and UN for criticizing his war against illegal drugs that has claimed more than 3,000 lives.

But the OFWs said the move against illegal drugs, crime and corruption will eventually lead to a more stable economy.

However, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the peso drop was a result of the impending increase in interest rates in the US. It is not related to Duterte’s controversial statements, according to Diokno.

“The depreciation of the peso is a result of the strengthening of the dollar, more than the weakening of the peso.”