“If we are to consider economic development as a race, a sprint in 2021, the Philippines will be left behind by practically all of its neighbors. We are not going to recover that quickly this year because of the way we have not managed very well the Covid-19 pandemic in comparison with Singapore, Vietnam etc.,” said UA&P co-founder Dr. Bernardo M. Villegas during the Asia CEO Online Forum last January 21.

Dr. Villegas projected that the Philippine economy will grow only four percent this year and suggested that business owners should make use of 2021 to make the necessary adjustments to the new reality until 2022. Business owners need to continue fine-tuning their businesses and making use of the available technology and infrastructure and to upskill/reskill abilities. He also noted that every industry will be dependent on technology, and that blended learning and work-from-home schemes will continue as well as the growing trend of online shopping and deliveries.

Dr. Villegas said overseas Filipinos’ remittances will continue to be a major source of purchasing power this year, noting that amid the 300,000 repatriated overseas Filipino workers in 2020, the decline of the overseas remittances was less than one percent last year, which was almost the same level in 2019.

“I see this area as very optimistic,” said Villegas. “In fact, Germany and Japan have already sent language tutors to the Philippines to teach our teachers, nurses and caregivers the German and Japanese languages, ready to import our workers this year.”

Read the full story at SunStar Cebu.