PHL can meet 2015 GDP growth target –NEDA

MANILA, Dec. 12 (PNA) — Government economic planners are confident that the Philippines can achieve its target of 6 to 7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

This means that the expected economic growth of 5.9 percent for the fourth quarter of the year should be achieved, said Rosemarie Edillon, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) assistant director general for policy and planning.

Edillon said the growth will be fueled by government’s spending, the industry, business process outsourcing (BPO) and tourism sectors in September to December quarter.

She added that because of a stronger economy and a stable inflation rate, household consumption will also contribute to faster economic growth during the period.

This year, the country posted a 5.7 percent unemployment rate, the lowest in a decade.

NEDA attributed this to employment generated by the industry sector, led by construction and manufacturing, and the services sector led by the trade sectors and tourism-related sectors.

In 2016, Edillon said construction and manufacturing will still play an important part for the country’s economic growth especially now that the government is ramping up its infrastructure spending.

“The IT-BPO will still be a growth engine,” she added. “In fact, we are climbing up the so-called value chain. So although we ranked number one in voiced accounts, we are moving to the non-voice sector of BPO, such as animation, accounting processes, and medical transcriptions, which is higher in value.”

In terms of assisting this sectors, Edillon said the government is already working on the various stages of business processes to improve the “ease of doing business” in the country.

Government also ensures that the manpower needed by these sectors will be provided accordingly, she said.

“Let’s say, in the IT-BPO industry, they need a certain set of skills in their field. So, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), in partnership with the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP), provides six months of training to those who are interested to enter the BPO industry. This program is ongoing and is expected to expand,” said Edillon.

Edillon was guest at the Kapihan sa Media ng Bayan on Friday. Kapihan airs live every Friday over Radyo ng Bayan DZRB 738 AM from 10am to 11am, and delayed telecast over PTV4 from 7 pm to 8pm, and IBC 13 from 10.30 to 11.30 pm.(PNA)