Fight vs corruption helped Philippines achieve credit upgrade

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Thursday, April 4, 2013


HOUSE assistant majority leader Karlo Nograles said government transparency and the unrelenting fight against graft and corruption boosted investor confidence towards the Philippines, leading to an upgrade of the country's international credit ratings.

With the credit ratings upgrade in the bag, Nograles, who is seeking reelection in Davao City's first congressional district, said the next challenge is to make everyone enjoy its economic benefits.

As this developed, he vowed to introduce more livelihood opportunities in his district, his home base, for people to reap the fruits of the growing economy.

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"Everything started with the government's drive for transparent government," Nograles pointed out. "Now we all have to be part of a sustained cleansing process and win the war against graft and corruption in all levels of the bureaucracy."

Nograles is one of the principal backers of a Freedom on Information (FOI) bill in the House of Representatives.

Nograles's statement came after the Philippines achieved investment grade for the first time from Fitch Ratings late March. A respected international credit ratings agency, Fitch has upgraded the nation's long-term foreign currency-denominated credit standing from BBB- to BB+, or "investment grade."

The outlook on the rating is "stable," Fitch said. It is expected to boost capital inflows to the Philippines.

"Funds are already pouring into the Philippines and an investment grade is a further endorsement," Eugene Leow, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd.

Nograles said the latest Fitch credit ratings upgrade should already end all skepticism on President Benigno Aquino's ability to run the country's economy and encourage the people, rich or poor, to rally behind his administration's bid to defeat poverty through a sustained war against graft and corruption.

Nograles urged vigilance to win the war against wrongdoings in government.

"We have to push government transparency to discourage graft and corruption," he said.

Aside from fighting graft and corruption, Nograles said the people should bring out their entrepreneurial abilities to create more jobs. For his part, Nograles promised to continue his college scholarship program, as well as host more job fairs.

Nograles also prodded budding entrepreneurs to be creative "such as reinventing themselves from mere seven-to-five employees to small and medium scale entrepreneurs."

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 04, 2013.

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