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Philippines upgraded to Investment Grade with a Positive Outlook by Moody’s Investors Service

On 2 October 2013, Moody’s Investors Service raised the Philippines to an investment grade rating, with a positive outlook. Following is Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s statement on this upgrade:

“We are pleased to find out that Moody’s Investors Service, after much deliberation, has raised the Philippines to an investment grade rating, with a positive outlook. The Philippines’ sound fiscal and monetary policy have been validated yet again, proof that President Aquino’s goal to restore confidence in the Philippines and revitalize the economy has been a success.

“Cited by Moody’s in addition to our economic strength and fiscal stability is President Aquino’s continuing fight for good governance – which we believe is the chief contributor to our success. Just recently, we have instituted reforms at the Bureau of Customs that President Aquino described as a “reset button” for the agency. We have appointed five new Deputy Commissioners for the Bureau who will be able to work from clean slates and build trust in an agency that has long been saddled by corruption. This and our other good governance reforms have been acknowledged not just by credit rating agencies, but by organizations such as the World Economic Forum, who ranked us 59th in the latest edition of the Global Competitiveness Report, a jump from 87th place in 2009.

“Our commitment to honest and responsible government, as well as our fundamental macroeconomic strengths – such as our structural current-account surplus, stable inflation, and low dependence on foreign debt – serve to differentiate us from other emerging markets that are resource- and export-dependent. As we move forward with our goals to invest in infrastructure and further open up the economy, I expect that Moody’s positive outlook for the Philippines will continue to be vindicated.”

“This is the 17th positive ratings action since President Aquino took office. We are now investment grade in all 3 major ratings agencies. Despite this, we are still among the most underrated countries since the market rates us at least two notches above investment grade. We will continue to work on strengthening and institutionalizing the reforms so we can sustain this beyond President Aquino’s term. Good governance is truly good economics!”