The Philippines will need at least $125 billion in infrastructure investment to expand the economy further and be part of the global supply chain.
“My own estimate is that it’s [infrastructure investment] more because to be connected to the world, to be part of the global supply chain and tourist networks, you must have world-class infrastructure,” Purisima said in a public-private-partnership roadshow in Hong Kong.
“The Philippines will have to be connected within so the movement of the people and goods in the country is much more efficient,” he said.
Pursima noted that the PPP program under the Aquino administration would become the second engine of growth, next to tourism.
“With the fiscal space that we’re devoting to infrastructure, it will be a driver for growth,” he said.
Purisima said infrastructure development in the Philippines was being challenged by climate change.
“If you look at climate change, it’s double edged. It’s a problem but we like to look at it as an opportunity, to again leap frog the infrastructure of our country,” he said.
Purisima, meanwhile, said revenues from the business process outsourcing industry were expected to amount to at least P$25 billion and outstrip remittances from migrant Filipino workers next year.
“We are about to reach tipping point because BPO revenues will outstrip remittances next year,” Purisima said Tuesday during the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Manila.
“Infrastructure together with consumption would be engine for growth in the Philippines,” he added.
Government’s infrastructure spending rose 93 percent in July but was still below target.
Bduget Secretary Florencio Abad said infrastructure and capital outlays surged to P38.3 billion in July from P19.9 billion year-on-year.
The figure, however, was still 17 percent short of the national government’s target of P45.98 billion for infrastructure spending in July.
Abad attributed the increase in infrastructure spending to the faster disbursement by the Public Works Department spending under the Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program.
Abad said health spending should also be accelerated.
Infrastructure spending in the first seven months of 2015 increased 22 percent to P245.65 billion from P202.87 billion on year.
“What this really means is that our leading agencies for infrastructure programs are making better use of their budgets. As a result, more goods and services are being rolled out to the public, and in better time,” Abad said.