Fiscal consolidation, without doubt, is the biggest gain of the Aquino administration in its first year in office.
The country has never been this awash with cash in its history. Gross International Reserves (GIR), or the amount of gold and various currencies held by the Bangko Sentral, stood at US$68.9 billion as of May this year. To the man on the street, this means he can rest easy as the country has enough “money in the bank” to buffer against worldwide economic shocks, at least for the next 10 months.
Aquino’s gains on the fiscal front came as a result of strict austerity measures and better revenue collection, which increased by 18.2 percent in the first four months of the year. Commissioner Kim Henares of the BIR deserves props for her successful collection efficiency programs. The good BIR Chief is even aspiring to be the first commissioner to breach the 1 trillion-peso collection mark next year.
The efforts of the Aquino administration has been recognized by the big three credit rating agencies, all of whom have announced a one-notch upgrade of our sovereign credit ratings. At Standard & Poor’s, the Philippines now enjoys a “BB” rating. Over at Moody’s, the country was bumped up to a Ba2 rating indicating a “stable outlook” on the medium term. Fitch, on the other hand, upgraded the Philippines to BB+, just a notch below investment grade.
Read more at Manila Bulletin