MANILA — The Philippine economy is expected to expand 5.7 percent to 6.5 percent this year on the back of the robust growth of manufacturing and construction sectors.
“The manufacturing is growing 10 percent per year, another one is government picking up its output. Construction is growing nine percent,” said Dr. Luis Dumlao, chair of the Economics Department of the Ateneo de Manila University, at the sidelines of the Eagle Watch Briefing: Philippine Economic Outlook 2015 at the Ateneo de Manila University Rockwell Campus in Makati City.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated by 5.8 percent in the first three quarters of 2014 despite typhoon damage and falling public spending.
The Philippines was the fourth best performer in terms of growth in the third quarter, behind China, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Dumlao said the government should spend more to boost the agriculture sector which is growing by only 2.4 to 2.8 percent.
The economist believes that linking the agriculture and manufacturing sectors is crucial for jobs generation.
“It is not a question of how big is the growth, we have to make it inclusive. If the growth is something that would come from let’s say agriculture linking with the manufacturing sector, then that is the growth that will generate jobs,” he said.
Dumlao also underscored the need for public and private sector cooperation in boosting economic development.
For his part, Dr. Alvin Ang, professor of the Economics Department at the Ateneo de Manila University, said the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittance flows and the business process outsourcing (BPO) revenues are driving the economy.
Ang said BPO and OFWs’ remittances will enable the Philippine economy to withstand external shocks.