Philippine gov’t eyes A credit rating over the next 2 years

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PH gov’t eyes A credit rating over the next 2 years
By Joann Villanueva

MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Philippine officials aim to elevate the country’s investment grade credit rating to A level over the next two years given the sustained robust domestic growth and proven resiliency.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, in his speech during the Philippines Investment Forum hosted by Euromoney in Makati City Tuesday, said “economic growth is solid and sustainable” despite the impact of negative developments here and abroad.

He attributed this to a series of reforms that resulted in manageable inflation, strong external payments position, and stable banking system, among others.

From being dubbed as “Sick Man of Asia” Diokno said the Philippines has come a long way and is now cited as among the fastest growing economy in the world.

He said the domestic economy is projected to be an upper middle-income economy by 2040.

Since getting its investment grade ratings from the three major debt raters namely Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service in 2013 the upgrades continue to pour in and is now a notch away from A-level.

“We are keen on hitting the minimum rating within the A territory over the next two years or so,” Diokno said.

The BSP chief, however, stressed that “higher credit ratings are not an end goal in themselves.”

“It is also a means to generate greater benefits for Filipinos through translating economic growth to actual poverty reduction,” he said.

Diokno pointed out that having a higher credit rating means lower interest rates on government borrowings, which will result to “more fiscal space to fund infrastructure projects and social services.”

“Then again, this is something no institution can singlehandedly accomplish. This requires concerted effort among all concerned institutions, public and private,” he added. (PNA)

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