MANILA - The Philippines is set to become an upper middle income country this year amid strong growth, an official of the Department of Finance said Sunday.
The Philippine economy has been growing for the past 3 decades and its current economic expansion above 6 percent is one of the highest in the world, said Finance Undersecretary Tony Lambino.
"Kaya po this year, in 2019, papasok na po ang Pilipinas dun sa kategorya na upper middle income country status," he said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.
(That is why this year 2019 we will break into the upper middle income category.)
The World Bank currently defines an upper middle income economy as having a per capita income of $3,895 to $12,055. An economist from the multilateral lender last year also said the Philippines was on track to achieving this status by 2019.
China, Malaysia and Thailand count among the ranks of upper middle income economies, said Lambino.
The Finance official said that they hope that within a generation, the Philippines can become an upper middle income country like South Korea and Singapore.
The World Bank said that for the Philippines to become a prosperous country free of poverty by 2040, it will need to triple its per capita income in the next 2 decades.