PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he did not care about the country’s credit ratings after international debt watcher Standard & Poor’s (S&P) reported that his bloody war on drugs “somewhat diminished” the predictability of economic policy-making in the Philippines.
“Sabihin nitong mga BB plus, credit. Wala akong pakialam sa inyo [They raise this BB plus, credit rating. I don’t care about you],” Duterte said in speech during the inauguration of a power plant in Misamis Oriential on Thursday.
Duterte issued the statement after the S&P on Wednesday maintained the country’s investment-grade rating of “BBB” with a stable outlook, but cited “diminished predictability and accountability” of the new government.
The S&P said President Duterte’s “strong focus on improving law and order” had resulted in numerous extrajudicial killings “that undermine respect for the rule of law and human rights, through the direct challenges it presents to the legitimacy of the judiciary, media, and other democratic institutions.”
In Malacañang, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said they welcomed S&P’s decision as
“it gives government greater resolve to make our economic growth robust, sustainable, and inclusive.”
But he also said the administration’s war on drugs should also increase investor confidence instead of diminishing it, as it was proof of the President’s commitment to make the country safe.
“Peace and order is a must for investors to invest more in the country,” Andanar added.
In affirming its investment-grade rating on the Philippines, S&P said the country’s strong foreign exchange reserves should be able to counter uncertainties surrounding the Duterte government.