Next government must build on gains, IMF says

Posted on November 11, 2015

REFORMS consolidated under the present government have put the Philippines in good position to weather external volatilities, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

International Monetary Fund resident representative Shanaka Jayanath Peiris -- BW File Photo
“We can see the Philippines’ strong fundamentals which have been built up for the last two decades but really consolidated by this administration,” IMF resident representative Shanaka Jayanath Peiris said in a speech at the 53rd Philippine Economic Society forum on Tuesday.

He added that the next administration should capitalize on present gains rather than starting with a “clean slate.”

The central bank and several international credit watchers have said that the Philippines is among the economies most resilient to China’s economic slowdown and other disruptive overseas events, amid strong domestic demand and benign inflation, among others.

“The country is in a really good place... that is important because the strong fundamentals are in the government’s surplus, low debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product ratio), and also we have high reserves,” Mr. Peiris added.

“We can now feel that the Philippines is one of the more resilient in the region -- whether it’s to the US Fed rate hike that can happen quite soon or the spillovers from China which have turned out to be a bit larger than what we expected.”

For his part, Socieconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said continuing the Aquino administration’s program would bring the Philippines to advanced economy status in 25 years.

“We believe that we have set the stage for the Daang Matuwid... In fact, we expect to turn over to the next Administration an economy that has much stronger fundamentals than what was the case in 2010 or before that,” Mr. Balisacan said separately. -- Melissa Luz T. Lopez