Press Release
March 31, 2013

Drilon says positive effects of historic investment upgrade should be felt by poor Filipinos too

Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin M. Drilon today welcomed the unprecedented investment grade status to the Philippines but said the new resources that come with new investments should be utilized to create new jobs, infrastructure projects and additional health and education services to make the upgrade relevant to poor Filipinos.

In a statement, Drilon echoed the statements of international economists that the Philippines achieved the investment grade rating for the first time after Fitch Ratings upgraded the country's creditworthiness mainly due to a resilient economy and improved fiscal management under President Aquino.

With an investment grade status, Drilon explained, the local industries could now attract more foreign investments since the cost of funds would be usually lower as the rating indicates a well-managed Philippine economy in fiscal and monetary terms that serves as an assurance to creditors that they will be promptly paid.

However, Drilon said the positive effects of the investments upgrade would be meaningless to poor Filipinos unless the fresh investments would result in the creation of new jobs, additional infrastructure projects and improved delivery of basic social services in the field of health and education.

"While we welcome this unprecedented investment status upgrade that basically acknowledges the positive reforms under the Aquino administration, we must see to it that these fiscal advantages and benefits should lead to more jobs and better incomes for poor Filipinos," Drilon said.

"We, in the Team PNoy senatorial team, will continue to support the fiscal reforms and good governance programs of President Aquino in the next three years so that these economic benefits will be felt by the poor in terms of better employment and education opportunities, improved health services and more infrastructure projects," Drilon added.

For her part, Team Pnoy senatorial candidate Risa Hontiveros, lauded the historic investment grade status for the Philippines, saying that the development is expected to strengthen the foundation for the government's anti-poverty agenda.

"The historic investment grade bolsters the government's arsenal in fulfilling its anti-poverty agenda. It shows that we now have the momentum to pursue the second half of the 'kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap' promise," Hontiveros said, adding that the economic team of the government and President Aquino deserve to be lauded for the upgrade.

Hontiveros said that now was the time for the nation to roll its sleeves to eliminate poverty. "The government is now in a better position to use economic growth to eradicate poverty," Hontiveros added.

In a statement Wednesday, Fitch said it upgraded the Philippines from BB+ to BBB-, which reflects an investment grade rating. The debt watcher also noted that the outlook for the Philippines is stable.

"This rating is unprecedented in the Philippines and can trigger the kind of investment that will help carry the country into its next phase of development," said Norio Usui, Country Economist at the Asian Development Bank.

"The Philippines' sovereign external balance sheet is considered strong," Fitch said, noting a persistent current account surplus on the back of strong remittance inflow, which proved resilient through the global financial crisis that has rocked the world since late 2007.

Fitch said the Philippine economy�which expanded by 6.6 percent last year�remained strong amid a weak global economic backdrop. "Strong domestic demand drove this outturn," the debt watcher said, forecasting growth to hit 5.5 percent this year.

News Latest News Feed