The lead economist at Bank of the Philippine Islands, Emilio Neri Jr., said the country’s trade deficit could grow larger than total remittances income and not even the BPO industry can bridge the gap. Neri said the USD20bn in gross revenue from the BPO industry would translate to only USD5-10bn in net revenue. If not managed well, the deficit-to-GDP ratio could be brought back to 1997 level, the year of the financial crisis. Neri said the peso should be allowed to depreciate to avoid the dwindling reserves. BPO revenues and remittances from Filipinos working abroad have been considered as the main drivers of the country’s economic growth.
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