President Aquino cites BSP recapitalization, investment grades as major economic achievements

MANILA, July 28 (PNA) — President Benigno S. Aquino III cited the completion of the P50-billion recapitalization of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), as well as investment grades received by the country from three international credit rating agencies as two of his administration’s major achievements in the economic front.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, President Aquino said his government has managed to come up with the P40 billion needed by the central bank for its recapitalization program in three years, which two presidents before him had failed to deliver.

He attributed this achievement to an increase in tax collection from P1.094 trillion in 2010 to P1.536 trillion in 2013, enabling the government to address the obligations it had inherited from previous administrations.

The P50-billion recapitalization program was stated under the New Central Bank Act of 1993, but only P10 billion was obtained by the BSP during President Fidel V. Ramos’ time in 1996, shortly after the law was signed.

The Aquino administration paid the remaining P40 billion in three tranches: P10 billion in 2011, P20 billion in 2012, and another P10 billion in 2013, to help the central bank support the economy, especially after the Philippines achieved its investment grade status last year.

Three of the world’s trusted debt watchers — Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s — all gave the Philippines an investment grade rating in 2013, with the latter even raising it a notch higher last May, a move that could help the country attract more investors to further boost the economy.

“Ang hatid po nito, dahil nga investment grade na tayo, mas murang mahihiram ng gobyerno ang pondo para sa mga programa at proyekto. Mas maraming maaakit na mamuhunan sa ating bansa at mas mabilis nanmga atatamasa ng mga Pilipino ang benepisyo,” President Aquino said.

The President also noted that in four years, his administration has generated 42 percent of the total investments gained by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) since its establishment in 1995.

He said he is confident that before he steps down from office, his administration would top or at least equal the 58 percent his predecessors had put up for more than 15 years.

“Kay Director General Lilia de Lima, salamat sa nagawa mo na, at gagawin pa, sa pagkamit ng tagumpay na ito. Talagang pa-take off na ang ating ekonomiya at bansa at inaabot na natin ang mas matatayog pang mithiin,” he said, commending the efforts rendered by the PEZA chief. (PNA)