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New PH Leaders Unlikely to Reverse Economic Reforms

by: Karen Cayamanda

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 |

Credit rating agency Standard & Poor's as well as local and US-based business leaders are optimistic that the next set of leaders in the Philippines will maintain the country's current economic reforms. This is according to a statement by the government's Investor Relations Office (IRO).

During the Philippines Business and Investment Forum (PBIF) held in New York last March 3, S&P's Sovereign Debt Committee Chair John Chambers said with the change in leadership after the national elections will not likely to reverse the reforms in the country.

The US-Philippines Society, an organization of business and civic leaders from the US and the Philippines, is also optimistic, as one member and retired Ambassador John Maisto said the next administration will likely maintain the economic policies set by the current administration.

According to the government, several economic accomplishments were achieved in the last six years, including the Sin Tax Reform Law, Foreign Banking Liberalization Act, amendments to the Cabotage law, Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act, amendments to the charter of the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, GOCC Governance Act of 2011, and the Philippine Competition Act. These milestones led to investment upgrades from various credit rating agencies as well as better rankings globally in terms of competitiveness. IRO added that these economic reforms aim to help develop policies promoting business and progress of the economy.

Maisto also sees it unlikely that the change in leadership will affect the current favorable credit standing of the country (S&P's rating for the Philippines is BBB), as well as its position as an attractive investment destination which is also dubbed as one of the bright spots in the region.

With an average GDP growth of 6.2 percent in the last six years, the country is considered as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, amid economic woes. Also, international agencies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank believe that it will be able to sustain growth despite external threats.


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