Press Release
October 4, 2013

Drilon says positive effects of investment upgrade should generate economic opportunities for ordinary Filipinos

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon welcomed today/Friday the latest investment grade status to the Philippines, which was brought about by the economic reforms and anti-corruption measures of the Aquino administration, but urged the government to ensure that its economic benefits trickle down to the masses.

Rating agency, Moody's Investor Service, on Thursday upgraded the rating of the government of the Philippines by one notch from Baa3 to Ba1. The rating agency has assigned a positive outlook to the rating.

"While we welcome this unprecedented investment status upgrade that basically acknowledges the positive reforms under the Aquino administration, we must see to it that the fiscal advantages and benefits that come with this investment upgrade should be utilized to further eradicate poverty and to generate economic opportunities for ordinary Filipinos," said Drilon, who is currently in Geneva, Switzerland to participate in the International Parliamentary Union's Annual Conference.

He said he expects more foreign and local investments and business opportunities to come in as a result of the credit upgrade.

With an investment upgrade, 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.

"The only challenge to the government is how it can successfully transform these economic gains into job and education opportunities, improved health and basic social services and more infrastructure projects. Otherwise, these gains will be futile and meaningless," emphasized Drilon.

The Senate President also said the Senate will play a vital role in sustaining growth and development by legislating policies that will encourage investments in agriculture, tourism, services and manufacturing constructions.

Drilon pointed out the Senate will introduce a comprehensive package of reforms that will improve the business climate, create jobs, reduce poverty, and foster transparency and accountability.

These measures that are being considered at the Senate, as part of its legislative agenda, include the rationalization of fiscal incentives to certain industries, the rationalization of the mining industry's fiscal regime, passing the freedom of information bill, the amendment of the cabotage law, and amendments to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) charter, measures to attract more foreign direct investments.

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