AN AUTOMOTIVE battery maker said the possibility of investing in manufacturing in other countries is not far-fetched, given that the present appreciation of the peso against the US dollar has been hurting exports.
"We do not know for how long and how far this currency situation will go. But it can certainly come to a point where we will be attracted to invest in manufacturing abroad or simply do trading," Philippine Batteries Inc. said in a position paper released to the media.
PBI, which manufactures Motolite batteries, exports 55 percent of its total production to over 40 countries.
"It is in this global nature that foreign exchange management is a critical component," it said.
The paper also said that pouring fresh investments locally is no longer as attractive, thanks to the peso's rise in value in the last three months leading to a 7-percent decline in their export revenues.
"Ironically, it is because of this revenue and cost mix that a sudden appreciation of the peso against the US dollar is a net burden to our business," it said.
PBI said competitors in countries like India, Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea are benefiting from currencies that have depreciated against the US dollar over the same period.
The battery manufacturer estimates that that due to the strong peso, it would now take nine years to recover new investments in a state-of-the-art battery assembly facilities instead of just four years when the peso was weaker.
The firm urged the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to more aggressively manage the peso-dollar exchange rate the same way governments in the Asian region are managing their own currencies.
PBI is the largest automotive battery manufacturer in the country, with an annual production capacity of 6 million units and an 80-percent share of the automotive and truck battery market. (GMA News)