ICT expected to generate USD50 billion by 2016

By Lawrence Agcaoili, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 14 2013 04:57 AM | Updated as of May 14 2013 07:36 PM

 MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is confident that the information and communication technology (ICT) industry would be able to deliver $50 billion worth of revenues by 2016 amid the continued strengthening of the peso against the dollar.

Monchito Ibrahim, deputy executive director of the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), said the government has laid down the groundwork for the ICT industry.

Ibrahim said the country’s information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry is expected to deliver revenues amounting to $25 billion, while other ICT services such as animation is expected to deliver the other $25 billion by 2016.

He pointed out that the Philippines has a reliable and redundant connectivity as major telecommunications companies led by dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. has established transmission backbone networks as well as cable landing stations.

He added that the government is also offering competitive investment incentives including four to eight years income tax holiday, special five-percent tax on gross income, other tax and duties exemptions, domestic sales allowance of up to 30 percent of total sales, and additional deduction on total manpower training cost.

Likewise, the DOST official said the Philippines has established a world-class IT-BPO designed infrastructure not only in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, but in Cebu and Davao as well.

According to Ibrahim, the Philippines has the talent value proposition with a large pool of young and English-speaking talent as its labor force total 38 million and with over 450,000 college graduates per year.

He said the Philippines is the third largest English-speaking country in the world and is the 12th most populous country with a population of over 90 million.

Furthermore, data showed that the Philippines has a literacy rate of 92.6 percent compared to China’s 92.2 percent, Brazil’s 88.6 percent, and India’s 61 percent.

Ibrahim said the industry is not bothered by the continued strengthening of the peso against the US dollar.

“We believe the peso will not strengthen further to the P40 to $1 level,” he added.

The peso averaged P40.70 to $1 in the first quarter of the year or five percent stronger than the P43.03 to $1 average in the first quarter of last year.

For this year alone, the IT-BPO industry’s revenues is expected to hit $13 billion this year from $11 billion last year, while its workforce is expected to increase to 765,000 from 643,000.

Ibrahim said the Philippines is set to bring its biggest delegation so far to the CommunicAsia 2013 and EnterpriseIT 2013 scheduled on June 18 to 21 in Singapore.