MANILA – The Philippines has maintained its BBB+ credit rating despite the negative impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.
“I am happy to report that the Philippines has maintained its credit rating of BBB+,” Duterte said in a televised public address.
Duterte did not give further details about the country’s BBB+ credit rating, which remains the highest ever in the country’s history.
He attributed the country’s stable growth performance to his decision to call for an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as early as March 15.
“‘Yung iba nagbagsakan na and because… Alam mo bakit? Kasi naniwala kayo — iyong iba kasi late nag-lockdown, ‘yung iba kung ano pa. Tayo sunod kaagad sa batas (Other countries’ credit rating downgraded and because…you know why? Because you believed–the others declared a lockdown late. Us, we immediately obeyed the law),” he said.
In April 2019, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded its credit rating on the country from ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB+’ with a Stable outlook, a notch away from A-level due to “supportive policy dynamics and improving investment climate” due to strong domestic growth, healthy external payments position, and sustainable public finance.
Moody’s Investors Service, in October last year, kept its Baa2 with Stable rating on the country because of the strong fiscal position, and “limited vulnerability” to external risks.
Fitch Ratings changed its rating outlook on the country’s “BBB” rating from stable to positive last February due to “sound macroeconomic policy framework that will support high growth rates with moderate inflation, progress on fiscal reforms that should keep government debt within manageable levels and continued resilience in its external finances”.
On April 8, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Philippine economy is “well-prepared” to handle the Covid-19 health crisis.
He expressed confidence in the government’s financial capability to bridge the problems arising from Covid-19. (PNA)