The World Bank (WB) has recently lowered its forecasts for the Philippine economic growth to 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent in 2014 and the following year, respectively.

Earlier, the WB predicted the country to register growth of 6.6 percent and 6.9 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

The revision was made due to the Philippines’s economic slowdown in the first quarter of 2014 after the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan, slower government spending in the second quarter and tightening of monetary policy in the first seven months, according to the WB.

Despite the downgrade, the Philippine economic growth for 2014 remains one of the fastest in East Asia, the bank said.

The Philippine government said the economy is on the right track, with recent data indicating the sustained high growth has helped significantly reduce poverty in the country.

Some 2.5 million Filipinos were escaped from the poverty last year and 1.7 million jobs were created during the 12 months from April, 2013.

The bank said the Philippines can sustain high growth by speeding up reforms and increasing investment in infrastructure, healthcare and education.

It suggested the Philippines build its simpler and more equitable tax system, with the tax burden and cost of compliance reduced for small businesses and wage earners.-VNA