DAVAO CITY—Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Tuesday said a victory by US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is better for the Philippines because it promises continuity of programs and ties with the Obama administration.
“I think Clinton is better… more continuity from Obama, because Obama has been campaigning for [Clinton],” Pernia told reporters at the sidelines of the Philippine Development Forum in SMX Convention here.
He said if Republican candidate Donald Trump made it as the next US President, downside risks for the Philippine economy might persist.
“Well, it will be a protectionist (government), inward looking American economy. And that will impact on trade, investment and remittances,” Pernia said.
The US will elect its 45th president today.
A London-based think, meanwhile, also sees the likelihood of a Trump presidency as a risk to the Philippine economy.
“The Philippines, followed by Taiwan and Korea, stand out as the countries in Asia with most to lose in the event Donald Trump is elected as the next president of the United States,” Capital Economic said in its Emerging Asia Economic Update publication.
Pernia and Capital Economicsmade the comments after Trump was recently quoted as saying he wanted to bring back American companies to the US.
“The Philippines would be the biggest loser if Trump followed through on his threat to punish American companies that outsource jobs abroad,” Capital Economic said.
The Philippines has a thriving business process outsourcing sector, which last year brought in revenues equivalent to around 10 percent of the economy.
“The Philippines would also lose out if Trump pushed ahead on plans to ban immigrants from “areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the US or our allies,” it added.
Remittances from migrant Filipino workers in the US are equivalent to around 3 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product.
The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines said the BPO industry in 2015 generated 1.2 million direct jobs and $22 billion in revenues.
Pernia earlier assured the BPOs would not suddenly pull out their business because of the cheap labor cost in the Philippines.
“The BPOs will not pull out. I don’t think there will be a pullout of BPOs, except when Trump wins. But that will happen next year. Because it’s profitable to private sector businesses (and) the US government cannot compel the private sector,” Pernia said.