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Expected win of Duterte bets good for continuity of policy reforms —Fitch ratings

The expected victory of senatorial candidates endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte would be good for the continuity of policy reforms under the current administration, credit watcher Fitch Ratings said on Thursday.

"The results of the mid-term elections suggest President Duterte and his allies would secure a majority in the Senate," Fitch Ratings Sovereigns team associate director Sagarika Chandra said in a statement.

This outcome, if confirmed, Chandra said, "could bode well for policy continuity during the President’s remaining term."

Latest partial and unofficial results as of 2:04 p.m. show that administration and pro-Duterte bets continue to dominate the Top 12, while none of the opposition candidates will be securing a Senate seat.

Among the expected reforms to be tackled by the next Congress is the second package of the government's planned tax reform program, the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO) bill.

The bill, which seeks to lower corporate income taxes and rationalize fiscal incentives, is pending before Congress.

The measure also plans to lower the corporate tax rate — the current at 30% and said to be one among the highest in the region — to 20% by 2029.

"The key economic factors that we would be watching in the period ahead remain — the Philippines’ growth outlook, progress on tax reforms and fiscal policies," Chandra said.

Fitch Ratings last affirmed the Philippines’ Issuer Default Rating in December 2018 at "BBB" with stable outlook. —NB, GMA News