Balisacan: PH on track to becoming upper-middle income economy by 2025

By TED CORDERO,GMA Integrated News

The Philippines remains on track to move up to upper-middle income economy status by 2025 despite an updated World Bank classification which found that the country is still a lower-middle income country and is trailing behind some of its neighbors in Southeast Asia, the country’s chief economist said.

Data from the Washington-based multilateral lender showed that the Philippines’ gross national income (GNI) per capita in 2022 at $3,950, up from $3,550 in 2021.

GNI per capita refers to the total value of a country’s income divided by its population.

Similarly, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed the country’s GNI per capita stood at P209,012 in 2022, up 14.6% from P182,438 in 2021.

Despite the year-on-year increase in the country’s GNI per capita, it still fell within the WB’s bracket for lower-middle income economies of $1,136 to $4,465. The income bracket was raised from $1,086 to $4,255 a year ago.

Sought for comment, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told GMA News Online, “We believe we’re on track."

"Yes, by 2025," he said.

Balisacan earlier said the Philippines is likely to achieve its target of becoming an upper-middle income economy by 2025, a year later than what the government expected.


In his first State of the Nation Address in July 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said his administration is looking to bring the Philippines to "upper-middle income status by 2024" with "at least $4,256 income per capita."

The World Bank, likewise, said in June that the Philippines “will reach upper middle-income status” and “that it seems to be on track to approach that.”

For the current fiscal year 2024, the World Bank classifies low-income economies as those with a GNI per capita of $1,135 or less in 2022; lower middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $1,136 and $4,465; upper middle-income economies are those with a GNI per capita between $4,466 and $13,845; high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $13,845 or more.

The Philippines is joined in the lower-middle income bracket by Vietnam ($4,010 GNI per capita); Laos ($2,360); Cambodia ($1,700); and Myanmar ($1,210).

It trailed behind its neighbors which are in the upper-middle income, namely: Malaysia ($11,780); Thailand ($7,230); and Indonesia ($4,580), which moved up this year from a lower middle income status.

Singapore ($67,200) and Brunei ($31,410) are in the high income bracket. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News