PNoy cites gains from credit rating upgrades

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 25 2011 04:42 PM | Updated as of Jul 26 2011 07:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Monday boasted of the upgrades in Philippine credit ratings in his first year in office, noting these would help reduce the country's borrowings costs.

In his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President said the upgrades were a reversal of the rating downgrades during the Arroyo administration.

"Kung dati napako na ang bansa sa mababang credit ratings, itinaas ng Moody’s, Standard and Poors, Fitch, at Japan Credit Ratings Agency ang ating ranking, bilang pagkilala sa ating tamang paggugol ng pondo at sa malikhain nating pananalapi."

"Ang mataas na credit rating, magpapababa ng interes sa perang inuutang natin," he added.

Aquino said the government has saved P23 billion more in interest payments during the first four months of 2011 compared to the year before.

The amount, he added, is enough to cover the benefits of 2.3 million poor Filipinos under the Conditional Cast Transfer (CCT) social welfare program until the end of 2011.

"Sa isang taon palang po natin, apat na beses na tayong nabigyan ng upgrades," said Aquino.

The President also mentioned the stock market's recent record highs, the decline in unemployment and the tax bureau's campaign against tax cheats, which include not just high-profile individuals but also self-employed citizens and professional taxpayers.

He also cited improving confidence in the energy sector, with around 140 companies interested in the government's next energy contracting round, and progress in the country's rice self-sufficiency goal.