MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno S. Aquino III is elated by the historic investment grade attained by the Philippines from Fitch Ratings that affirmed his drive for good governance.

He said the investment grade will not only result in lower interest rates on the country’s debts but will also attract more job-generating investments to the country.

The job now, Aquino said, is to build on these economic gains toward an equitably progressive society.

“We are pleased to hear that this afternoon the Fitch group announced that they upgraded the status of the Philippines from BB to BBB-. This marks the first time in history that our nation has been granted investment grade status by a major credit ratings agency,” the President said in a statement.

“This is an institutional affirmation of our good governance agenda: Sound fiscal management and integrity-based leadership has led to a resurgent economy in the face of uncertainties in the global arena. It serves to encourage even greater interest and investments in our country,” he added.

Aquino said the investment grade means much more than lower interest rates on Philippine debts and more investors buying securities. “Greater access to low-cost funds gives us more fiscal space to sustain and further improve on social protection, defense, and economic stimulus, among others,” he said.

The President said more companies can now also consider the Philippines as an investment destination.

“Investment grade for sovereign debt should also lead to lower borrowing costs for Philippine companies in the international markets, consequently allowing for higher valuations for their securities,” he said.
“This in turn enables industries to expand and generate more jobs for our countrymen– fostering a virtuous cycle of growth, empowerment, and inclusiveness that will redound to the benefit of Filipinos across all sectors of society,” he added.

Aquino said the credit upgrade also highlighted the perception of reduced risk in Philippine markets.

“It is one among many other positive developments that demonstrates the reclamation of our national pride: Truly, what was once known as the perennial laggard of Asia is taking off, and is accelerating towards its goal of an equitably progressive society,” the President added.

The President reiterated his resolve to ensure the economic gains are felt by all Filipinos. “The task now is to ensure that expected inflows will be used to maximum effect towards a sustainable, progressively empowering economy. We are determined to build on our economic gains to usher in a society wherein every Filipino, today and for generations to come, may be given the wherewithal to realize their full potential,’” he said