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  • Elite leading resistance to federalism – Puno Political dynasties and the economic elite are orchestrating resistance to a proposed shift to federalism, according to former Chief Justice (CJ) Reynato Puno. He said entrenched political and business interests opposed any change to the status quo, while change would benefit the poor. Former CJ Puno said the 22 members of the consultative committee would next focus on an information and advocacy drive spearheaded by Malacañang. The bigger burden is overcoming the opposition, he said, acknowledging the general public’s ignorance of federalism.
  • Debt prepayments hit $1.45 Bn in 1H2018 Philippine borrowers–both the national government and the private sector — continued to prepay their foreign obligations resulting in the further weakening of the peso against the dollar, data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) or central bank showed. Debt prepayments amounted to $1.45 billion in the first 6 months. The national government accounted for 67% or $975.3 million of the total prepayments in 1H2018, while private corporations cornered the remaining 33% or $472.6 million. “Market tendency of some corporates to even prepay their external debt obligations is adding to the higher demand for foreign exchange which in time will lead to some depreciation of the peso against the dollar,” BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said.

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