THE PESO strengthened further on Monday as the government eased restriction measures to help boost the economy while managing the pandemic.

The local unit closed at P48.51 versus the dollar on Monday, rising three centavos from its P48.54 finish on Friday last week, data from the Bankers Association of the Philippines showed.

The peso opened Monday’s session at P48.56 per dollar which was also its weakest showing for the day. Meanwhile, it reached an intraday high of P48.51 against the greenback.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a text message that the peso appreciated as business activities are expected to pick up as more people will now be able to travel for work.

“The peso was stronger after the latest moves by the government to further open the economy with more public transportation systems, which could help improve economic recovery prospects,” Mr. Ricafort said.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board approved the reopening of 28 more jeepney routes in Quezon City, Manila, Makati and Muntinlupa starting yesterday. This means 1,159 more jeepneys in these areas are now able to ply their routes.

The Department of Transportation has also shortened the required distance between passengers of trains to increase their capacity.

Meanwhile, a trader said in a Viber message that the signing of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan II, the second economic stimulus measure of the government amid the coronavirus pandemic, also improved market sentiment.

For today (Sept. 15), Mr. Ricafort expects the peso to range from P48.50 to P48.60 versus the dollar while the trader sees the local currency moving from P48.45 to P48.65. — KKTJ