The Philippines’ IT business process management (ITBPM) industry is confident to grow a high single-digit with revenues projected to hit $28.8 billion and additional jobs of over 100,000 to a total of 1.43 million direct employment by end this year.
Benedict Hernandez, chairman of the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), said at the pre-event press conference for the 13th International Innovation Summit slated in November this year that the Philippine industry is expected to post a strong rebound this year. The growth projection for the Philippines is higher than the global growth projection of 7-8 percent, he said.
“We’re seeing quite an exciting bouncing back of that demand and growth,” he said noting that based on IBPAP’s latest survey, 87 percent of ITBPM companies expect between five and 15 percent growth this year. This 2021, he said, the industry is optimistic to hit a high single-digit growth.
This should translate to export revenues of $28.8 billion from last year’s roughly $27 billion and generate more than 100,000 jobs for total of 1.43 million directly employed Filipinos. Last year, the industry grew flat with 23,000 new jobs to 1.32 million jobs created. In total, the industry contributed at least 130,000 jobs during this pandemic.
This means, Hernandez said the ITBPM industry did not stop growing even during the two year pandemic period. He noted that the industry showed some upticks in demand at the tail end of 2020.
Hernandez also expects the growth to be broadbased among industry segments with strong appetites coming from the banking and financial services, healthcare and communications services. Hotel and tourism sectors, which are heavily impacted by the pandemic, are still finding its way to recovery.
“With this optimistic forecast, we still need to keep in mind that the sector still needs to navigate the future through certain key strategic initiatives, strategic imperatives, including navigating digitization, the needs for talent upskilling, the need for the right policy framework to support this amidst all of what’s happening, Our company positioning and brand and infrastructure are all important topics that we’re going to spend a lot more time during the conference itself,” he said.
As the economy emerges from the pandemic, he said the ITBPM industry continues to “surge ahead in the recovery of the country’s economy.” He said that the industry is starting to work on a new 6-year 2022 roadmap.
“This year we will chart the path that will sustain the growth of the industry, unlock more opportunities and meets all these challenges, empower a higher value future,” he added.
Celeste Ilagan, a member of IBPAP Board, cited the need to amend existing laws such as the CREATE Law and Telecommuting Act to help sustain the current industry business model that was developed during this pandemic.
Ilagan noted of the need to amend the CREATE law to institutionalize the work from home arrangement. Under the temporary arrangement with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), ITBPM companies are allowed 90 percent WFH operation and only 10 percent onsite. The group has been batting to make this arrangement permanent.
She said this could be done by amending certain portion of CREATE to allow ITBPM enterprises to liberally and freely implement the WFH, since they are also exporters.
Another law that needs amendment is the Telecommuting Act because the data privacy, a main issue for WFH arrangement, was proven to be well-safeguarded during WFH in the pandemic.