IT-BPO industry to 'spark' Philippine economic boom

By Butch Fernandez, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jul 20 2012 07:45 AM | Updated as of Jul 20 2012 07:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Information Technology and Business-Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry could “very well be the spark that sets off the Philippines’s economic boom” and, Sen. Edgardo Angara said on Thursday, the government should strengthen the country’s foothold on it.

Angara added that rapid expansion of the IT-BPO industry in the Philippines has surpassed “even the most optimistic forecasts because of the exemplary public-private partnership [PPP] they demonstrated.”

The senator cited recently released data from the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) that highlighted the local IT-BPO sector’s outstanding performance in 2011—a marked increase of $11 billion in revenue by 24 percent from 2010, and providing jobs to 638,000 employees, 22 percent more than in the previous year, with the industry surpassing their projected 20-percent annual growth rate.

According to the BPAP, the industry will bring in $25 billion a year by 2016, making up 9 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP), 10 percent of the sector’s global market share and employing 1.3 million Filipinos.” GDP is the total value of goods and services produced in a country in a year.

“In such a short time, the IT-BPO industry has become one of the biggest job creators in the country. In the past decade, the sector has grown exponentially in terms of work force and income generation, from a fledgling subsector of the service industry to a multibillion-dollar earner,” Angara said.

He suggested that the next step is to ensure the continued progress of the industry through combined efforts of the government and the private sector.

“The success of this industry in our country is a perfect example of how the private sector and the concerned government agencies can work together and share their resources toward a common goal. Because of this united effort, the Philippines is now a close second to India as the world’s largest BPO provider,” Angara said.

He added that this year, several grants and subsidies have been given announced by the different agencies and institutions earmarked for educational and technical development of the sector:

For instance, the Asian Development Bank has given $650,000 or P27.3 million in technical assistance for educational programs for skills enhancement.

State universities around the country have been granted a combined budget of P125 million to fund their IT-BPO-based programs, Angara reported.

A P450-million subsidy has been given by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for training, while the Information and Communication Technology Office under the Department of Science and Technology has allocated P350 million to support the IT-BPO industry.