Palace downplays Moody’s worries
Malacañang on Tuesday shrugged off concerns by credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service that a “significant shift” in the administration’s policies might undermine the country’s growth.
“The economic fundamentals remain strong,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said. “We will be okay.”
Andanar cited a recent report of declining poverty incidence in the country by the Philippine Statistics Authority, which said the number of poor Filipinos has gone down from 25.2 percent in 2012 to 21.6 percent in 2015.
He also said the inflation rate is stable, and contracts between the government and the private sector will continue to be honored.
In a statement on Monday, Moody’s said the Philippine banking system remains generally stable based on its robust fundamentals and the country’s macroeconomic stability. It also expects the Philippine economy to grow 6.5 percent in 2016 and 2017, “much higher than other countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.”
“However, the country’s growth prospects could be undermined, if there is a significant shift in the government’s policies,” Moody’s said in an apparent reference to President Duterte’s declarations that he will pursue an “independent” foreign policy.
Mr. Duterte announced his “separation” of the Philippines’ military and economic ties with the United States during his state visit to China. He later clarified Manila will not sever ties with the United States.
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