Philippines Outsourcing Sector to Lower Poverty Levels – World Bank

Revenues from Philippines Outsourcing – the country’s booming information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector – along with strong foreign remittances and higher government spending, are expected to boost Philippine economy in 2015 and 2016 and slash the country’s poverty incidence, according to a World Bank report. 

Once again, the growth of the Philippine economy is predicted to outpace all major Southeast Asian markets this year and the next. Sustained economic growth will set off improvements in the country’s poverty levels, which the World Bank expects to drop from 15.4 percent in 2012 to 10.9 percent by 2017. Currently, the World Bank considers people who earn less than $1.25 a day “poor.”

Economic growth is also expected to reach 6.5 percent in 2015 and 2016, faster than the 6.1 percent growth reported in 2014. The World Bank slightly lowered the forecast for 2015 in line with the outlook for the region. The Asian economy is expected to grow by 6.7 percent this year, slower than last year’s 6.9 percent.

“Philippine growth is still one of the fastest among the major economies in the East Asia region, trailing only China,” said a World Bank representative. “Strong remittances, falling oil prices, and upbeat consumer and business sentiments indicate stronger growth in 2015.”

The global lender advised the Philippine government to implement its planned spending program to support growth. However, long-term poverty eradication will require structural and policy reforms that will protect property rights and raise health, education and infrastructure investments. The bank also urged the government to improve competition by breaking up monopolies and create more jobs through simplified regulations.