BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo expressed optimism the Philippines economy will continue to grow even if the Philippines indeed severs economic and military ties with long-time ally the United States.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday told the Filipino community in Beijing during his four-day visit that it was time “to say goodbye, my friend”—referring to Washington, Manila’s ally of 70 years.
“The US and the Philippines have a long history of economic and military ties. We’ll have to wait until the government is able to provide us with greater details on how this will be translated into policies,” Guinigundo said.
“I think it is also important to note that one, our macroeconomic fundamentals remain strong and our sources of economic growth have diversified. Not only external trade but also domestic demand especially in the last few years—consumption, public spending, investments,” he said.
Guinigundo said the Philippines’ trade had diversified, adding intra-Asean trade also expanded in recent years, with more non-traditional markets tapped and free trade agreements signed.
“… So that is where we are coming from. [But] it is too premature to comment on the implications of the statements of the President,” he said.
The economy grew 6.9 percent in the first half, which is near the upper bound of the government’s official target range of 6 percent to 7 percent this year, driven mainly by election-related spending, higher public expenditures and robust domestic demand.
Guinigundo also remained hopeful the business process outsourcing industry, which serves as one of the major sources of dollar inflows, would continue growing amid the President’s rhetorics. A significant number of American BPO firms are operating in the Philippines.
“For me, business is business. I don’t think anyone will prevent them from coming here and continue to set up operations, especially… BPOs coming here and relocating in the Philippines. They are actually providing greater impetus to their economic performance,” Guinigundo said.
BPO revenues, along with remittances from migrant Filipino workers, account for around $50 billion inflows annually.