Research consultant Ramonette Serafica of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), said that the services sector had not yet maximized its value to the country’s economy despite its already significant contributions in terms of employment, investment and revenues.
Serafica’s study shows that the country’s information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry takes full advantage of the country’s strong human capital. The country’s potential as a global hub for ship repair and its being the major supplier of workers throughout the world is part of the country’s total services sum.
The opportunities for growth are huge since the Philippines has “one of the most restrictive policy environments for services,” based on the World Bank’s services-trade restrictiveness index (STRI). STRI measures a country’s discriminatory restrictions in financial services, telecommunications, retail, transport and professional services. Restrictions are highest in professional services. To counter this, the government must create a more competitive business environment.