Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo | Philstar.com photo

The Philippines’ recent credit rating upgrade from Standard and Poor’s (S&P)  is due to the economic reforms under the Duterte administration, Malacañang asserted on Thursday, May 2.

S&P upgraded the Philippines’ credit rating to BBB+ with a stable outlook, citing the country’s consistent growth, solid fiscal accounts, and the economy’s sound external settings.

According to the company, it updated the country’s long-term rating to BBB+ from BBB to reflect the Philippines’ strong economic growth trajectory.

S&P also said it expects that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth will pick up to 6.3 percent this year after slowing down to 6.2 percent last year from 6.7 percent in 2017.

“The stable outlook reflects our assumption that the Philippine economy will continue to achieve above-average real GDP growth over the medium term, supporting the sovereign’s credit profile,” it said.

S&P further lauded how the country’s economy is growing at a consistently faster pace than that of its neighbors.

“The Philippine economy is among the fastest growing in the world on a 10-year weighted average, per capita basis – a reflection of its supportive policy dynamics and improving investment climate. The country has a relatively diversified economy with an increasingly strong track record of high and stable growth,” it said.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo welcomed the report and said: “The Palace is pleased with the report from global debt watcher Standard & Poor’s that the Philippines has received a credit rating upgrade of BBB+ stable outlook.”

“The economic team of the President has done a splendid job in putting the economic house in order and spearheading bold economic reforms, in cooperation with Congress, in bolstering the domestic economy, which is projected to become the world’s top 25 economy,” he added.

Panelo listed the tax reform package, liberalization of the rice sector, strengthening of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas charter, improving ease of doing business, relaxing the foreign investment negative list and modernizing infrastructure under the reforms implemented by the administration.

He also cited President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign against crime as a key aspect to the country’s economic growth.

“The president understands that a thriving economy under an environment free from drugs, crime and corruption is essential to bring our people to a life which is comfortable and secure,” Panelo said.

“His actions based on this belief have thus promoted our country’s standing not just in peace and order but also in terms of our economy,” he added. 

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