The Philippines’ Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector is one of the best-performing and employment generating activities in the past four years. Its global leadership in voice-based services as well as continuing improvements in non-voice and complex process outsourcing show the promising growth trajectory of the IT-BPM sector. To be able to cement its position in the global IT-BPM sector, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has advocated for deeper policy reforms which will support employees’ skills development and maintain a competitive business environment for the industry.
The industry’s initiatives focus on four action areas: (1) widening and deepening human capital by scaling up industry public-private partnerships; (2) strengthening Philippine attractiveness as an investment destination through advocacy activities; (3) achieving Roadmap 2016 goals by leading cross-sectoral efforts; and (4) building Philippine IT-BPM brand globally through marketing programs.
As of 2010, the Philippines’ IT-BPM sector has already overtaken India’s standing in voice-based services, making the country the number one provider for such services in the global economy. Voice-based services is also identified as the largest contributor in the local BPO industry, comprising 64% (493,000) of generated direct employment and 67% ($ 7.4 billion) of total revenues in 2011. Aside from this, several non-voice and complex BPO services such as healthcare information management, knowledge process outsourcing, engineering, animation, and software development are gaining prominence in the global BPO sector and are in a higher growth pace vis-à-vis voice-based businesses.
The global foothold of the Philippine IT-BPM industry is largely attributable to the strong skills of the Philippine labor force. In voice-based services, Filipinos hold competitive advantage in English communication skills, strong customer service orientation, and adaptability to consumers’ Western culture. In non-voice and complex services, The Economist and Everest Group analysts report the growing number of businesses providing healthcare information management, human resources management, business intelligence, and offshore financial consulting in the Philippines. Coupled with Filipinos’ hard work and openness to learning, these two existing advantages provide investors with a strong advantage once they set up shops in the country.
As an enabler of business, the Philippine government provides IT-BPM firms with one of the best investment environment so that they can operate their enterprises productively. For instance, the Board of Investments (BOI) provide income tax holidays, tariff reductions in capital equipment and streamlined business registration and coordination procedures for non-voice and knowledge process outsourcing enterprises which produce original content. The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) also provides an incentives package for IT-BPM businesses, including voice-based services in its scope of qualified investors. Aside from better coordination procedures with government, IT-BPM enterprises benefit from a sound telecommunications infrastructure in the country as well as a stable pool of skilled professionals in urban cities, where the population base is growing at stable replacement rates. These conditions assure that businesses can conduct their activities within a stable macroeconomic and investment climate.
Industry Development Program
The IT-BPM industry Technical Working Group (TWG) conducts meetings to discuss and address industry concerns and issues. Among its recent activities are:
- Human Resource Development. With funding from DOST-ICTO, an initial batch of 20 graduates was provided Lean Six Sigma training by IBPAP and UP National Engineering Center. In addition, IBPAP, AIM, and UP Open University are pushing for the creation of hubs for training IT-BPM talents nationwide. Several CEO/stakeholder consultations were conducted with at least 5 different IT-BPM sectors. Several deliverables were completed and progress achieved in each of the three components: a) completion of the draft of the AIM Thought paper; b) completion of the IBPAP criteria for Selecting Knowledge Hubs; and c) completion of UPOU’s Learning Profile Research and commencement of the review of the existing IBPAP courseware. Project implementation period is September 2013-November 2015 (26 months). Furthermore, IBPAP and DOLE signed a two-year partnership agreement to promote best people practices and voluntary compliance with general labor standards (GLS) and occupational safety and health (OSHS). Under the agreement, DOLE and IBPAP will implement a two-year action plan to assist employed workers keep their jobs, assist unemployed workers find jobs, and protect workers’ right and benefits.
- Baseline Statistics. DOST-ICTO and UP School of Statistics are currently implementing the ICT Industry Mapping Project which will establish a unified baseline data on the IT-BPM industry and serve as guide to project goals and targets of IT-BPM roadmap. The preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Philippine Business and Industry on BPO activities, culled from the section on Information and Communication and Administrative and Support Service Activities, was presented in July 2015. The Philippine Statistic Authority is targeting to present the final results by January 2015.
- PH-Taiwan LOI on Technical Cooperation IT-Enabled Services. In connection with the 20th PH-Taiwan Joint Economic Conference (JEC) held in Taipei in October 2014, the LOI on ICT Cooperation was elevated with the signing of three (3) MOUs in Smart Education, eLearning products, and promotion through hosting events, activities or awards.
- MOU on Digital Content Cooperation between the Animation Council of the Philippines Inc. (ACPI) and the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP), and the Institute for Information Industry
- MOU on ICT School Consultation between Federation of Associations of Private Schools & Administrators (Philippines) and Shou Yang Digital Technology Co. Ltd, and Over Paradigm Inc. (Taiwan)
- Signing of the MOU on Mutual Product Representative between Xepto Computing Inc. (Philippines) and Shou Yang Digital Technology Co. Ltd. and Shuttle Inc. (Taiwan)
- National Quality Standard. IBPAP noted with interest the imminent publication of the International Standard ISO 37500: Guidance on outsourcing by ISO. BOI proposed a MOU between IBPAP and DTI-BPS. BOI is coordinating with IBPAP Lead on Quality Standards to have the MOU signed in the first quarter of 2015.
- Promotions. To strengthen the Philippine brand and create greater awareness on the IT-BPM and GIC industry locally and internationally, DTI approved the printing of 5,000 promo collaterals for IT-BPM. In June 2014, 5,000 copies of promo collaterals were delivered to FTSC and private sector.
- Talent-Related Initiatives. Projects implemented to execute the roadmap action plans were talent-related initiatives addressing education and training needs. The following were recorded as of School Year June 2014.
- Service Management Program (SMP): 545 teachers from 13 SUCs are now trained to teach SMP subjects (Service Culture, Business Communication, Systems Thinking, and BPO 101/102; SMP Faculty Training Completion Rate: 80% (545 out of 685) with an SUC participation rate of 82% (14 out of 17); Midterm Assessment is to conduct an SMP Master Teachers Training Program for 100 teachers coming from SUCs so they can become SMP training centers for all interested HEIs in their respective administrative regions.
- Advanced English Pre-employment Training (AdEPT): 525 teachers from 14 SUCs have completed BEST and/or AdEPT
- Expanded Learning for IT Services (ELITES): 54 teachers from 5 SUCs are now trained for ELITES; ELITES Faculty Training Completion Rate: 54% IT faculty TES) training.
- Global Competitiveness Assessment Tool (GCAT): GCAT for 1,270 students and 229 teachers
Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines
5th Floor C2 Building, Bonifacio High Street,
30th Street cor. 7th Avenue,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Tel. No: (632) 817-2727
Telefax: (632) 817-8141
Board of Investments (BOI)
Industry and Investments Building,
385 Senator Gil Puyat Ave,
Makati City Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 897-6682 loc. 279