Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
Finally, the country has gained an investment grade status. Many Filipinos do not understand how significant this rating is for our country. I myself only got to understand it well after investing in some bonds overseas; a practice which many of our countrymen do not do as they are used to investing locally in the Central Bank through special deposit accounts and other investment instruments.
When the world was hit by the financial crisis in America back in 2007, the Philippine bonds were rated either as junk bonds or slightly above junk bond status, depending on the ratings agency. Before the crisis, it was quite common for people to invest in non-investment grade bonds such as ours to get higher yields. But when the financial crisis came, the non-investment grade bonds received the greatest blow, as these bonds dropped the most in value.
But in fairness to the Philippines, our bonds traded close to – or in the same value as – investment grade, even though we were not yet conferred with the status during those difficult times. From a layman’s point of view, attaining investment grade is like graduating in class with honors. Our country is now seen as more stable and reliable, with a badge of good housekeeping. Opportunities will be far greater than before.
As early as November 2010, I predicted that we would attain investment grade status in one of my articles entitled “Victory”. But actually, one could already notice the increasing momentum in the Philippines even during PGMA’s time. Our country weathered the 2007 financial crisis pretty well. The property boom was starting and GDP was growing despite the ongoing economic disaster at that time. OFW remittances continued to grow and the peso even continued to appreciate, despite the growing concerns in the lack of transparency and good governance. Then, the coming of the new administration led by P-Noy has brought in the much-needed reforms to bring about greater transparency and a real fight against corruption. This new leadership stance resonated well with investors, and soon after, his battlecry “Daang Matuwid” continued to make in-roads.
This is just the beginning of a new era for our country, particularly in our economic sector, and we owe this victory to a lot of people who worked together and did everything right. From the sound fiscal and financial reforms implemented by P-Noy and his economic team, to the businessmen who invested in expanding their businesses, up to the OFWs, BPO professionals, and other service exporters who were bringing in money and helped boosted our foreign reserves – these people are the biggest contributors to this success. Today, the Philippines enjoys a fast-growing economy with close to seven-percent annual growth, a huge market of 100 million Filipinos, with an economic size of $315 billion, which is now larger than other developed countries, with stronger business and consumer confidence indexes, growing international reserves and Balance of Payments levels, tamed inflation and lending rates, and strong investment inflows that should lead further to better employment and income levels.
Getting the investment grade status at a relatively short span of time is great news for many. While Filipinos rejoice at what seems to be the biggest show of confidence to us from the international community, this came as no surprise to me and to the rest of the Go Negosyo community. We have been optimistic that we will reach this milestone, and to have this blessing this early is just an icing on the cake.
But much has yet to be done. Perhaps the most important indicator that we must attain in order to say that we have succeeded is if we are able to translate these figures into actual improvement of lives, especially of those who are not so blessed and are living in poverty. I am aware that we cannot do a sudden turnaround and free Filipinos from poverty in a snap, but this investment grade status opens up a lot of opportunities for us to work on towards this goal. More investors mean more businesses; more businesses mean more jobs; more jobs mean less hungry families.
For the economic growth to really trickle down, our underprivileged countrymen should also make their move and participate in whatever way they can to find opportunities to get employed or to start a small livelihood. As what I often say, opportunities that are to come will be greater than before, but success is only for those who want it most. Let us make the move and want success. This is just the beginning of our country’s journey to prosperity.
Pilipinas, Now is our Time!
We will be having our first Negosyo Basics (Negosem) session on April 12, Friday, 1:30 p.m., at the RFM Corporate Center in Mandaluyong City. Be inspired and empowered as Go Negosyo angelpreneurs give the rundown on how to start your own negosyo. The Negosem is a four-hour seminar that tackles the fundamentals of venturing into business with dedicated discussions on Cultivating a Positive Attitude and Enterprising Mindset as Key Ingredients to Business and Life Success & Strategies on Spotting Business Opportunities and Product Development and Marketing.
Registration is still ongoing. We welcome NGOs and LGUs to attend and avail of special group discounts. Interested participants may download the registration form online at www.gonegosyo.net, or you may call 637.9229 for inquiries.