Palace disagrees with S&P on 'less predictable' PH policy-making

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2016 03:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 22 2016 03:42 PM

Trade Secretary Mon Lopez. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Palace disagrees with international debt-watcher Standard & Poor's (S&P) analysis that President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs and tough rhetoric "diminished somewhat" the predictability of economic policy-making in the Philippines. 

Despite the President's choice of words and spats with global leaders and institutions, the government will continue to implement existing agreements and contracts, Trade Secretary Mon Lopez told Palace reporters Thursday.

"Policy making has not changed. The policy to honor all contracts, protect investments are still here to give investors peace of mind," Lopez said.

Lopez underscored that the government continues to work on a free trade agreement with the European Union even after Duterte cursed the organization for asking at least 28 embassies in the Philippines to look into possible human rights violations amid the government's intensified campaign against narcotics.

The government expects to finalize the free trade agreement with the EU by December.

The government's ongoing war on drugs should also increase investor confidence instead of diminishing it as it is proof of the President's commitment to make the country drug-free and safe, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

The drop in crime rate and the "consumer optimism that soared at the start of Duterte's presidency" should be enough proof that the Philippines has become a more sound investment destination under the new government, Andanar said.