Philippines back to business

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 September, 1997, 12:00am

The Philippines can focus on its economic troubles now that President Fidel Ramos has defused a political time bomb at home, Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo says. Mr de Ocampo (right) yesterday said that while the financial turmoil was more of a regional phenomenon, it was 'safe to say that had the political crisis reached disturbing proportions, it would have had an effect' on the economy. 'Fortunately, it has not reached disturbing proportions,' Mr de Ocampo said.

The Catholic church called a rally on Sunday to pressure Mr Ramos to cancel alleged plans to run for a second term through a constitutional amendment - an issue that has polarised Filipinos. 'Now that the rally has been finished and the political issues appear to be a little bit relegated to the sideline, we should focus more on the economy,' Mr de Ocampo said.