The Philippine economy surprised most Filipinos and perhaps the rest of the world with its robust performance, surpassing growth rates of most of its Asian neighbors. The peso continued to appreciate, becoming one of the strongest performing currencies this year. The Philippine Stock Exchange index also surged to 37 all-time highs in 2012.
The Aquino government also managed to pass the sin tax reform measure that had been pending in Congress after more than a decade, despite lobbying by the tobacco and alcohol industries.
The prospects for the Philippines remain bright for next year. The government is optimistic the Philippines will get investment grade, as Standard & Poor's raised its outlook on the country's debt score to positive.