President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that the Philippines had maintained a BBB+ sovereign credit rating, even after the Department of Finance reported a plunge in tax collections as a result of quarantine restrictions to stem the Covid-19 outbreak.

Duterte credited his decision to impose a lockdown in mid-March.

“I am happy to report that the Philippines has maintained its credit rating of BBB+,” Duterte said in a televised address.

“Hanggang ngayon, ‘yung iba nagbagsakan na and because… Alam mo bakit? Kasi naniwala kayo — iyong iba kasi late nag-lockdown, ‘yung iba kung ano pa. Tayo sunod kaagad sa batas. Pagsabi gawain ‘to… Tapos ang mga trabahante ng gobyerno for the time na wala pang lockdown mahusay. They were really working.”

According to Fitch Ratings, BBB ratings BBB’ ratings “indicate that expectations of default risk are currently low. The capacity for payment of financial commitments is considered adequate, but adverse business or economic conditions are more likely to impair this capacity.”

Fitch Ratings upgraded the Philippines’ “BBB” outlook to “positive” earlier this year, citing sound macroeconomic environment and fiscal reforms.

Japan’s Rating and Investments Information Inc. (R&I) also upgraded the country’s to “BBB+” from “BBB.”

On Sunday, the Department of Finance said collections of both the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs from Jan. 1 to April 17 reached only P641.62 billion, which is P431.45 billion or 40 percent short of the target of P1.073 trillion for that period. (

READ: Tax collections drop further amid Covid-19 pandemic