Growth momentum sustained despite political chatter, says Dominguez

MANILA-- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the latest positive outlook of Fitch Ratings on the Philippines is proof enough that the political noise has failed to dent the country's growth story resulting from its strong macroeconomic performance and continued political stability amid the Duterte administration's reform agenda and tough war on illicit drugs and other crimes.

'Fitch Rating's latest affirmation of its positive outlook on the Philippines only means that the political chatter emanating from certain quarters has failed to dent the country's sustained-growth narrative resulting from its strong economic performance, continued political stability and aggressive infrastructure and human capital investments under the Duterte presidency, Dominguez said.

The finance secretary issued this statement the day after Fitch � one of the world's three major international credit-rating agencies � affirmed the Philippines' investment grade sovereign credit rating at 'BBB-' along with a positive outlook on this rating.

Recognizing the country's sustained growth momentum, Fitch has projected the domestic economy to grow by 6.8 percent this year and 6.7 percent in 2018, or within the government's growth target range for the next two years, driven in part by an increased spending on infrastructure.

Fitch noted that macroeconomic performance has remained strong and domestic political stability has been maintained even as the Duterte administration has pursued its campaign against the illegal drug trade.

Dominguez said that, 'To maintain broad policy continuity, the Duterte administration will continue to pursue its 10-point socioeconomic agenda on high�and inclusive�growth, with a focus on closing the infrastructure gap, improving the ease of doing business to attract more investments, and attacking poverty by spending big on human capital formation,

Given the positive outlook of Fitch Ratings and other institutions, he added, the government has more reason to highlight on the country's growth story by moving ahead on such policy reforms as its Comprehensive Tax Reform Program to ensure the financial sustainability of its ambitious program to eradicate poverty and transform the Philippines into a high-income economy in one generation.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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