BSP chief: Gov't deals probed, 'overnight' takeover 'will not happen'

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2020 10:46 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2020 11:04 AM

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MANILA -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Monday a government takeover of businesses with alleged onerous contracts "will not happen overnight" as these will go through legal processes.

President Rodrigo Duterte and his cabinet secretaries have in recent weeks flagged irregularities in state deals with Manila Water Co, Maynilad Water Services Inc, Ayala Land, Chevron Philippines and Light Rail Manila Corp, sending share prices tumbling.

"That's going to go through the legal process. It will not happen overnight like a takeover by government. That will not happen. There will be a process," Diokno told ANC's Early Edition.

"If you're a businessman, you are looking for where you'll make money and if you invest in the Philippines you'll make a lot of money," he said.

Asked if scrutiny of government contracts would dampen business sentiment, Diokno said: "I don't think so."

The Philippines' is on track to achieve a credit rating of "A" for the first time, Diokno said. The Philippines is currently in the B tier, meaning investment grade.

"Right now, we are rated by the credit rating agencies as A, except that it's formality. It has to go through formality," he said.

A "Road to A" team composed of the BSP, the Department of Finance, the Bureau of the Treasury and the National Economic and Development Authority is working to secure the score, he said.