Cesar Purisima bags sixth ‘Finance Minister of the Year’ award

By Staff Writer

Feb 23, 2016 06:14 PM EST

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima has been recognized as the Finance Minister of the Year, one more time, by the Hong Kong-based FinanceAsia. This is his second award in a row from this publication and his sixth since he assumed his Cabinet post six years ago.

Purisima was awarded in a ceremony on January 27 and said he was happy that, with this recognition, the Philippines comes to a full circle. "With our five-year average growth rate of 6.2 percent hitting the highest in 40 years, the turnaround project is complete. The Philippines, once the sick man of Asia, is now the region's resilient bright spot," he said, according to Philstar.

"We have come full circle in restoring robust confidence in the Philippines. A pattern of recognition makes it clear this is no longer about me, but about the underlying vision President Aquino has led this country with. This does not speak of the excellence of individuals, but rather of the excellence of our guiding governance philosophy. This is something we hope we can follow through on for the next 6 years," he humbly added.

The nation has indeed emerged as a bright spot in SouthEast Asia under the Aquino administration, with its focus on service industry, high domestic consumption, steady earnings from overseas workers, and a balanced government spending. GMA News Online represents that its debt-to-GDP ratio has dropped to 44.8% as of the end of 2015, with foreign debt brought down to 15.6% of GDP in the face of extended maturities.

Purisima's winning streak is historic in the Finance Department, as the man now has six awards under his belt, Manila Bulletin reports. He was first recognized in 2011 by the Emerging Markets as Finance Minister of the Year for Asia, followed by Finance Minister of the Year by Euromoney in 2012. In 2013, he was once again awarded Finance Minister of the Year for Asia by Emerging Markets, along with Finance Minister of the Year for Asia Pacific by The Banker in the same year. In 2014, he was recognized for his leadership skills and for being the key to the Philippines' success, and was once more awarded the Finance Minister of the Year by FinanceAsia.

The unanimous opinion that the finance minister deserves every bit of the credit, speaks volumes about the man because of whom the island nation has now become a "touchstone for sovereign issuance in the region." Purisima has been instrumental in building the government's reputation for fiscal discipline, professionalism, and a desire to combat corruption, and he and the department of finance are worthy of all the commendation they receive for their sound economic management.  

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