MANILA - The Philippines' credit ratings could be upgraded if Congress passes President Rodrigo Duterte's tax reform package, one of his economic managers said Friday.
A downgrade is also possible if the measure, which seeks new levies on fuel and sweetened drinks to offset a reduction in income tax rates, fails to get lawmakers' approval, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
Finance officials met recently with representatives from Moody's Investor Service, which rates the Philippines at investment grade alongside Standard and Poor's and Fitch.
"If we approve tax reform, there’s a possibility that we could even have an upgrade. The failure to pass the tax reform could mean a downgrade," Diokno told ANC's Early Edition.
Diokno said he received assurances from House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that the tax package would be passed before the current session adjourns.
"I’m confident that it will be passed on time," he said.