MANILA - Some American companies have delayed expansion plans in the Philippines due to caution over the economic policies of US President Donald Trump, the head of a recruitment website said Wednesday.

Expansion projects in Dumaguete, Cebu and Davao have been pushed back to the middle of the year, from the first quarter, said Philip Gioca, country manager of

"They have a wait and see attitude. They are very cautious and still awaiting directions in the American government," Gioca said.

Trump, who assumed office in January, has signalled a more protectionist US, threatening the outsourcing industry, though his recent moves have largely centered on bringing manufacturing jobs back home.

Despite uncertainty over Trump, data showed a 20-percent increase in job demand from the BPO sector.

BPO and small and medium enterprises, both expanding in the provinces, have fueled job demand, data showed.

Nearly half, or 44 percent of postings on in 2016 are in the provinces, up 16 percent over two years. These are mostly in Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Bacolod, Pampanga and Batangas.

The government's infrastructure push is helping transform sleepy towns into investment hubs, Gioca said.

"Employees' preference is also always working within their locale," he said.