The Philippine economy is predicted to grow 7.5-8 percent this year, driven largely by the expected increase in the government’s infrastructure spending and continued robust consumption, according to the Metrobank-led First Metro Investment Corp (FMIC).

According to FMIC President Roberto Juanchito T. Dispo, the Philippine Government will allocate about 9 billion USD for infrastructure construction, up 37 percent over the previous year, aiming to improve the business environment and competitiveness of the country.

Meanwhile, the expected robust domestic consumption will be driven by rising consumer confidence, increasing tourist arrivals and high remittances from overseas Filipino workers, he said.

Dispo also mentioned other factors such as strong growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and recovery of local manufacturing sector.

Meanwhile, a Filipino senior official warned that the Philippine economy’s expected growth places greater demand on the country’s flagging energy resources.

According to Philippine Minister of Socioeconomic Planning Arsenio M. Balisacan, the country can afford energy next year, but it should invest more to the sector to ensure its future supply.

Balisacan said stable electricity supply is key to the growth of the manufacturing sector and job generation.

Last year, the Philippines recorded a GDP growth of 7.2 percent, despite many natural disasters, according to the Philippines ’ Statistic Office. The country’s government has set a target of 6.5-7.5 percent growth for this year.-VNA