The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Management Association of the Philippines, the Makati Business Club, the Philippine Stock Exchange and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima separately condoled with the family of former President Benigno Aquino, III only hours after his death in hospital.
In a statement, Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico, PCCI president, said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of former President Noynoy Aquino.”
Yujuico noted that as Aquino continued “to strengthen the country's fiscal stability and macroeconomic fundamentals that began during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, it was during his term that the Philippines won its first investment-grade credit rating.”
In 2013, three years into his presidency, Fitch Ratings raised the country's credit rating to investment grade, citing the political and economic reforms implemented under Aquino. Other credit rating agencies followed suit.”
For its part, the MAP said Aquino's administration was marked “by impressive economic growth, with four credit rating upgrades and a significant increase in foreign direct investments, aided by his focus on transparency and good governance.
“Although his administration had its fair share of challenges, the reforms he initiated in public infrastructure, the judiciary, education, health care, and social protections created an engine for progress. And he generated a new respect for the country on the world stage. The West Philippine Sea arbitral ruling is evidence of international recognition of our territorial integrity.”
The Makati Business Club said Aquino “bettered our lives by combining pro-people social policies — modernizing education, expanding cash transfers, for example — with a relatively clean government. That meant taxes went to public services and infra, while foreign and local businesses were excited to make job-creating investments.
“History will judge him well.”
Former Finance Secretary Purisima, in a statement said: “My deepest condolences to the Aquino family, and to the wider family of public servants who served with honor under his presidency.
“I owe President Aquino a debt of gratitude for the opportunity of a lifetime for my six years of service in his cabinet as Secretary of Finance and as head of his economic team.
“It was President Aquino’s strong mandate and unwavering resolve that made those six years particularly fulfilling ones as we sought to, as he mentioned in his inaugural speech, “travel far on the right path, and... bequeath a better future to the next generation.”
The Philippine Stock Exchange itself said in a statement: “The Philippine stock market recorded several milestones during the term of President Aquino as his policies transformed the Philippines from a high credit risk to an investment grade rating country starting in 2013.
“We pray for the eternal repose of his soul.”