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BPO, real estate industry still bullish despite crisis

January 16, 2009
MANILA, Jan. 16 (PNA) -- The business process outsourcing (BPO) and real estate industry said they remain optimistic about their performance for this year despite the widening global crisis.

According to the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the BPO has been an industry for less than 10 years and is still growing fast, contributing almost 2 percent to the country's gross domestic product since 2001. The outsourcing industry expects a 35 percent growth in 2009. Income generated in BPO projects also add to one�s purchasing power, which can be used in investments in real estate.

Certified Real Estate Brokers Association (CREBA) Research Institute President Florentino Dulalia said steady flow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will continue to fuel the growth of the entire Real Estate & Construction Industry this year as migrant workers continue to invest part of their income in real estate properties and house improvements.

"The industry will still be robust this year despite the current global economic crisis as remittances continue to flow in," Dulalia said.

OFW remittances are clear source of the country�s income and capital. The continuous increase in remittance inflows has a positive impact on the economy despite the ongoing economic crisis.

Data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) show remittances for December hitting US$ 16 billion, more than 10 percent higher than the recorded figure in the same period in 2007.

OFW remittances for December might still be higher if funds remitted through unregulated channels are accounted for. The BSP estimated that remitted funds through the banking system is understated approximately by an average of 5 percent. Furthermore, an estimated 25 percent of the OFWs earnings are not remitted to the country and are saved by the OFWs with them in the form of other investments.

Harnessing these flows of remittances will be an effective tool for turning the threats of the current global crisis into opportunities that will maximize its potential contribution to the country�s economy, Dulalia said. (PNA)

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