The Philippines, one of Asia's brightest economic spots, heads to the polls on Monday in an election that may hold the key to accelerating the country's development.
The new administration will inherit a country that is in its best shape in decades, one that's evolved from Asia's "sick man" to "strong man." The Philippines recorded gross domestic product (GDP) expansion of 5.8 percent last year, beating out many Southeast Asian peers, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, and the Asian Development Bank is predicting 6 percent growth this year on the back of strong consumption.
Building on that momentum is crucial.
"In many respect, this is the most important political date for the Philippines in years. The president has only one six-year term and President Benigno Aquino's term is up this year. Markets are nervous about his replacement due to the immense potential that the Philippines holds," Natixis senior economist Trinh D. Nguyen said in a note.