BPO industry seen outpacing PH economy, growing up to 13 pct this year

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2021 08:51 PM

MANILA - The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines said it expects the sector to once again outpace the Philippine economy this year.

Its partner Everest Group forecasts Philippine IT and BPO to grow revenues by between 8 and 13 percent, and full-time employment by 7 and 8 percent.

IBPAP chairman Benedict Hernandez says 56 percent of the respondents to its 2021 industry growth survey expect growth to hit double digits this year, while 38 percent see it hitting single digits. Only 6 percent expect flat growth.

In 2020, the IT-BPO industry managed to grow in both employment and revenues despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. While the 1.4 percent growth rate was small, it was much better compared to the rest of the Philippine economy which suffered its worst contraction since World War 2, as well as the worst unemployment on record.

Hernandez credited the resiliency of his colleagues in IT-BPO, as well as the government for its policies and accommodations that allowed the industry to perform well in spite of the pandemic.

“Our current road map will actually lapse and finish by 2022 so we are in the midst of creating our next six-year plan, or road map, called IBPAP roadmap 2028," said Hernandez.

The new roadmap will tackle 5 key ‘points of contact’ including accelerated digitization, talent upskilling, ecosystem partnerships, responsive policy regimes, and country brand and competitiveness.

Hernandez said responsive policy regimes are something they want to work on with the government, especially when it comes to allowing IT-BPOs to retain the fiscal incentives granted to locators of PEZA zones, even as they continue to work from home. 

“The resounding thinking and anticipation is there is going to be some form of hybrid [work from home and office setup] out there, and currently, our policy regime is not actually attuned to that. "


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