IMF's Lagarde to visit Manila on Nov. 15
MANILA, Philippines - International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde will be in Manila for a 2-day visit this November 15.
Finance Undersecretary Rosalia de Leon confirmed that the first female chief of the Washington-based lender is set to make a first-time visit to the Philippines, which has been supportive of the financial reforms the IMF has been pushing in crisis-hit nations, especially in the eurozone area.
"After the Philippines, she will go to another Asian nation,” de Leon said, adding that Lagarde's Asian tour is mean to solicit insights on how to solve the euro economic crisis.
Previous reports on Lagarde's visit was based on an IMF press briefing, which cited a November 14 to 20 tour that includes Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia. Lagarde will be in the region to attend the East Asia Summit and the Global Dialogue of the Association of South East Asian Nations.
Lagarde is expected to highlight the need for the Philippines to pass the sin tax reform bill, which will increase excise tax on cigarettes and alcohol.
The IMF has also been calling on the Philippine government to rationalize tax incentives granted to businesses.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima has been vocal in supporting the IMF's austerity and reform measures set as conditions for the eurozone countries suffering from financial-turned-economic crisis. Purisima had cited that these same measures were bitter pills that Asian countries, like the Philippines, had swallowed to get out of the Asian Financial Crisis in 1990's.
The Philippines, once an IMF borrow and now a lender, contributes to crisis-fighting funds meant to ease eurozone's burden.
Since Lagarde took over the reins of IMF in July 2011 following the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, she has visited other Asian countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Thailand. - Rappler.com