• 3,000 firms
  • Independent
  • Trusted
Save up to 70% on staff

Home » Podcast » The Economic Condition & Prospects of the Philippines – with Carlo Asuncion – Chief Economist

The Economic Condition & Prospects of the Philippines – with Carlo Asuncion – Chief Economist

About Carlo Asuncion

Derek Gallimore talks with Ruben Carlo Asuncion, Chief Economist at Union Bank of the Philippines. Experienced in macroeconomic surveillance and monitoring in Asian economies, Carlo has released macroeconomic views on the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

The past year has been challenging for the Philippine economy due to the pandemic, which has also affected the outsourcing industry. In this episode, Derek and Carlo will discuss the statistics and projection of this impact to offices, OFW remittances, and the BPO sector. They will also discuss Carlo’s forecast for the economy in the following years.




Get 3 free quotes 2,300+ BPO SUPPLIERS

COVID-19’s impact on OFWs and the outsourcing industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted every aspect of the country’s economy, including the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) and the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. Initially, Carlo said that economists were expecting a 10 to 20% decline for OFW remittances. Fortunately, the final numbers have “done better than expected,” as it only declined by a -.8%.

The early part of the lockdown restrictions also resulted in “confusion” for BPOs, especially regarding daily operations and employee transports. However, “looking beyond the pandemic,” Carlo recalled that with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from years ago, the Philippines “saw a growth in an expansion in outsourcing in the Philippines.” The Unionbank chief economist also hoped that “when the dust settles, with cost-cutting, outsourcing will continue to expand.”

The Philippine office sector

Carlo suggests “thinking twice” about investing in commercial office space in the city centers of Manila. Most companies have gotten used to remote work, so it’s more likely that it will remain a choice working arrangement. However, for companies that really need their employees to be working in their headquarters/specific office space, Carlo noted that the government has been pushing for decentralization.

While there’s “potentially some reduction in economic activity” in the capital region, he assured that it will only be transferred elsewhere. After all, people are moving out of Metro Manila, and moving to provinces like Batangas, Laguna, or Bulacan. Despite this, most companies aren’t affected due to the effectiveness of remote work.

Hopes and projections for the Philippines
Hopes and projections for the Philippines

Further, the economist added that people are “still hesitant at this point” to go back to normal “until vaccines are rolled out and people have reached a certain level of immunity.”

Carlo added, “It’s hard for me to think of people returning to the way it is…. And I think that moving forward, there’ll be a lot of decentralization happening.”

Hopes and projections for the Philippines

For 2021, economists are still expecting a 5.5% Gross Domestic Product. Carlo is optimistic this year, however, to achieve this projection, there’s an underlying assumption that vaccines are going to be distributed already.

Get the complete toolkit, free

Further, Carlo advised that some analysts and think tanks need to avoid saying that the Philippines will be part of the G20 (ranked 18th to be exact) by 2050. In addition, he warned the government to avoid the “middle income trap.” He recognized that the country is fortunate to have a “very young population, demographic sweet spot,” and a productive population. However, the country needs to be under the “right, inspiring, leadership that I would say benevolent.”

Further, he still has high hopes for the Philippines. “I think [the country] can be [the next Singapore], because we already have the ingredients, [like] a great population. And I know that human resources [is] our best resource right now.,” the economist stated.


For those who’d like to get in touch with Carlo, you may reach out to his Facebook and Instagram accounts.



LinkedIn: Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion

Instagram: Carlo Asuncion

Facebook: Carlo Asuncion

YouTube: Carlo Asuncion

Outsource Accelerator

Listen to more podcast episodes here:

  1. Derek Gallimore interviewed on the Marketing Growth Podcast with Shane Barker
  2. Is Freelancing the New Employment? With Jon Younger PhD
  3. Educating and developing Philippine youth for the global workforce – with Edukasyon.ph

Get Inside Outsourcing

An insider's view on why remote and offshore staffing is radically changing the future of work.

Order now

Start your
journey today

  • Independent
  • Secure
  • Transparent

About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 450+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

“Excellent service for outsourcing advice and expertise for my business.”

Learn more
Banner Image
Get 3 Free Quotes Verified Outsourcing Suppliers
3,000 firms.Just 2 minutes to complete.
Learn more

Connect with over 3,000 outsourcing services providers.

Banner Image

Transform your business with skilled offshore talent.

  • 3,000 firms
  • Simple
  • Transparent
Banner Image