BPO, Remittances Help Keep PH Economy Resilient to Setbacks

The Philippines is more resilient than other countries, with remittances soaring and the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry booming despite shocks in Russia, Japan, the Unites States and Europe, according to National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general and economic planning secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. He added that the country has a strong outsourcing industry, with multinational companies continuing to expand operations.

The NEDA director general pointed out that the Philippine economy will withstand Japan’s recession and Russia’s currency meltdown because of it diversified foreign exchange earnings. Russia’s currency plunged to an all-time low on Monday due to the effect of economic sanctions from the West and falling oil prices. Japan’s third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) also dropped by 1.6% after plummeting to 7.3% in the past three months as consumers reigned in spending because of the higher national sales tax.

The Philippine BPO industry is a diverse source of foreign exchange due to a wide range of services that have expanded beyond call centers and customer support. Today, BPO providers in the country offer everything from IT infrastructure to accounting to healthcare services. The manufacturing sector is also boosting economic growth and helping the Philippines weather less than ideal conditions in major foreign economies.

Balisacan called the Philippines “well-placed,” citing many sources of foreign exchange like tourism and manufacturing. He said the weak Japanese economy could even be favorable as Japanese companies relocate their operations to the country.

“When there was a hiccup in Japan 10 years ago, it hit our electronics and semiconductor industry significantly as these are 70% of our exports. This is no longer the case,” said Balisacan. “Many Japanese companies are visiting our country for outsourcing.”