A report from The Economist ranks the Philippines 6th out of 66 select emerging world economies with the highest level of financial strength. As recently remarked by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno who said that the report identified the Philippines as among countries with high financial strength validates the authorities’ belief in a robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Leading the way on the list was Botswana followed by Taiwan, South Korea, Peru, and Russia. Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, and China rounded out the Top 10, placing seventh to 10th.
These economies were measured based on the percentage of public debt to gross domestic product (GDP), foreign debt, cost of borrowing, and reserve cover.
Diokno, in a Viber message to journalists on Friday, May 1, said the country’s ranking on the list “is consistent with what we’ve been saying all along: the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit the Philippines from a position of strength.”
“The Philippines before the Covid-19 crisis was on the road to A-rating. We’re not saying that the Philippines has not suffered from this crisis, together with the rest of the world. But our relative position among emerging economies gives us confidence that the Philippines would have a U-shaped bounce-back once the pandemic fades,” he said.
Diokno accords the strength of the Philippines to the current administration’s “well-crafted economic plan, the close coordination and competence of President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s economic team, and the President’s strong leadership in getting the much-needed legislation passed by Congress.”
Data from the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) indicate that the national government’s total outstanding debt at the end of March reached PHP8.177 trillion with the bulk being accounted for by domestic debt with 33 percent sourced from external fund sources.
The proportion of the country’s debt-to-domestic output also stood at 44.2 percent as of 2019, down from as high as 78.3 percent in 1986.