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IMF welcomes plan to pay back debt

IMF welcomes plan to pay back debt

The International Monetary Fund on Friday welcomed the Philippines' announcement it would repay its remaining IMF obligations, paving the way for the country's exit from more than 40 years under the lender's tutelage.
The central bank said Thursday the final repayment of the remaining US$220 million in outstanding obligations will be made this week, a year and five months ahead of schedule.
"The Philippines' ability to repay the fund early reflects a stronger balance-of-payments position, achieved through impressive fiscal reforms that have substantially reduced the fiscal deficit and debt," IMF Acting Managing Director Takatoshi Kato said in a statement.
He said the IMF and Philippine authorities will continue to maintain a close relationship as they tackle remaining problems facing the country.
"We are encouraged by the Philippine authorities' resolve to address remaining policy challenges, including the need to reduce the public debt further," he said.
The Philippines has been entitled to exit the IMF post-program monitoring since October 2000, when its outstanding obligations fell below the amount it contributes to the IMF, but it opted to continue with the arrangement anyway.
A seal of approval from the IMF is important to the Philippines, as international credit agencies still place the country's sovereign debt at non-investment grade.
With new revenue measures in place and more restrained spending, the Philippines expects to attain a balanced budget by as early as 2008, senior government officials have said.


Updated : 2021-04-11 03:46 GMT+08:00