ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
World Bank says PHL growth became more inclusive
The World Bank on Tuesday noted Philippine economic growth has become more inclusive as poverty incidence among Filipinos significantly dropped in recent years.
"The rapidly growing domestic economy has yielded substantial gains in employment and poverty reduction. This means growth became more inclusive," World Bank lead economist Birgit Hansl told reporters during the launch of Philippines Economic Updates April 2017 in Taguig City.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Hansl noted unemployment fell to a "historic" low of 4.7 percent in 2016, as 1.4 million jobs were created.
"However, the country's 18 percent underemployment level has remained broadly unchanged over the last 10 years, reflecting the prevalence of informality and related job-quality concerns," she added.
Poverty incidence among Filipinos dropped to 21.6 percent in 2015 from 25.2 percent in 2012, which means 1.8 million Filipinos were lifted out of poverty in the span of three years, Hansl said.
"Higher employment, low inflation and improved incomes contributed to the decline in the number of poor people," she noted.
"The implementation of planned infrastructure projects could generate positive spillover effects for the rest of the economy, spurring additional business activity, accelerating job creation, and ultimately contributing to higher householdconsumption and poverty reduction," Hansl said.
For the Philippines to sustain the pattern of inclusive growth, the economist said the country requires an enduring commitment to structural reforms that facilitate private investment.
"This can be achieved by promoting competition, removing restrictions to investments from other countries, simplifying business regulations and protecting property rights which continue to discourage private investment," Hansl said.
"Underinvestment contributes to high rate of informality and low job quality, and it weakens the impact of employment growth in poverty reduction," she said.
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