MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – President Benigno Aquino III said today that the country’s economy benefited from the government’s campaign for good governance.

In a speech delivered at the Second Integrity Summit, Aquino said his administration’s pursuit of “re-establishing a culture of integrity in government” made the Philippines more globally competitive.

Aquino said that the bottom line of his administration’s strategy is to ensure a level playing field which is “stable, rules-based, and whose outcomes are predictable.”

He cited the eight positive credit ratings upgrade obtained by the Philippines under his watch, one of them placing the country just a notch away from investment grade.

“If achieved this could open up Philippine bonds to a whole new set of buyers, and could possibly lead to even lower borrowing costs,” Aquino said.

He said the significant jump of the Philippines to 65th place – from 85th place in 2010 – in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report showed “that we must have been doing the right thing since we came into office”.

He cited the better than expected GDP growth in the first half of the year, saying that thanks to economic gains, the government managed to provide a bigger allocation for social services. The government allocated P698.8 billion ($16.86 billion) for social welfare programs in 2013 or 13.9 percent higher than 2012.

“We have been channeling the budget into investments in our people – in education, health, poverty alleviation, and infrastructure – because we recognize that sustaining our economic momentum requires a citizenry that can compete in the global arena, ” he said. Source: philstar.com | Updated September 18, 2012 07:01 PM