Amid UK’s stunning exit from EU: Here’s how ‘Brexit’ may affect Filipinos

  • Financial analyst warned of possible effects of UK’s exit from EU on the Philippines
  • He said Filipino immigrants might lose their jobs and remittances might fall 
  • Incoming budget secretary also aired thoughts on ‘Brexit’, said it won’t impact PH economy as much though

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the UK’s stunning exit from the European Union after a hotly-contested referendum, a local financial analyst warned of the possible effects the move may have on the Philippine economy.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Manuel Enverga III, a professor of European Studies at Ateneo de Manila University, warned of lower remittances and more Filipino immigrants losing their jobs should the move plunge the UK into a recession.

“The Philippines sends migrants to the UK. In addition, we receive remittances from the UK,” he said. “If the workers are sent away or it becomes more difficult for us to send people there, it will affect our economy greatly.”

At least 200,000 Filipinos reside and work in the UK.

At the same time, Enverga said the negative impact won’t be immediate but will likely happen over a stretch of time.

“These will actually occur in the long run and so we shouldn’t expect to see major changes right away but it will come,” he said.

Domestic Problems a Priority

For his part, incoming budget secretary Ben Diokno stressed that unless the EU collapses because of Great Britain’s exit, the Philippine economy will be expected to come out just fine.

He added that the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will still focus on the domestic problems hounding the country regardless if a foreign crisis happens or not.

“Most of our problems – poor infrastructure, high costs of doing business, sluggish agriculture, widespread poverty – are domestic in nature.  We need to address them regardless of what is happening externally,” he said.