Don’t just rely on BPOs, remittances, say SM Investments
SM Investments Corp (SMIC) has cautioned the Philippines against relying too much on receipts from the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and remittances from Filipinos working abroad. SMIC chair Jose Sio said the Philippines must develop its basic industries and reduce reliance on BPOs and OFWs to sustain growth in the coming years. Sio said that the economy is now being supported by the OFWs and call centers, but he stressed that these are industries that may not be sustainable, especially with the onset of artificial intelligence and automation. The BPO sector generated US$23 billion in revenue for the Philippines while cash remittances from OFWs hit US$28 billion in 2017. However, Sio is convinced the country must also strengthen its manufacturing and agriculture sectors to sustain growth for the long term.