by Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star, 21 Oct 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The umbrella group of information technology – business process management (IT-BPM) firms in the country expects the industry to grow by eight percent this year as demand picks up in various sectors such as banking, financial services and communications.
In a virtual press conference yesterday, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) chairman Benedict Hernandez said the industry is cautiously optimistic it would achieve high single-digit growth in revenue and employment this year.
“By end of 2021, we expect to have 1.43 million Filipinos working in the industry,” he said.
The IT-BPM industry ended 2020 with 1.32 million direct employees, 1.8 percent higher compared to 2019.
“We also expect revenues to grow by about eight percent and our export revenue is expected to hit $28.8 billion in 2021,” Hernandez said.
Last year, the IT-BPM industry generated $26.7 billion worth of revenues, slightly higher than the $26.3 billion in 2019.
Hernandez said the forecast growth for the Philippines is at the high end of the seven to eight percent uptick seen for the global industry.
“We are seeing quite an exciting bounceback of that demand in growth,” he said.
Citing a survey conducted by the group, he said 87 percent of IT-BPM companies expect a five to 15 percent growth for this year.
Last month, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines said the country’s contact center sector is expected to expand by nine percent in terms of revenue this year, higher than the six to seven percent global growth.
The Philippine contact center sector’s employee count is likewise projected to rise by eight to nine percent this year, higher than the six to seven percent growth in the global market.
Hernandez said in terms of industries, strong appetite is seen in banking, financial services, insurance as well as communications.
For the forecast to become a reality, he said “the sector needs to redesign the future through our key strategic imperatives on digitalization, talent, policy shaping, country marketing and infrastructure.”
With the hybrid working model seen to stay, IBPAP board trustee Celeste Ilagan said it would be important for the industry to continue to be allowed to implement up to 90 percent work from home.
“A continuation of this type of policy is important. There should be an agreement between industry and government as to what the best balance is,” she said.
She said this can be done by amending portions of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act to allow the IT-BPM industry to freely work from home and continue to enjoy incentives as exporters not just for the pandemic but for the long term.
Hernadez said the upcoming International Innovation Summit to be held on Nov. 16, 17, 18, 23, and 24, would be discussing how the country can take advantage of opportunities to continue the trajectory of growth and gain market share.
With the IT-BPM industry roadmap 2016 to 2022 set to end next year, he also said the group has started the process for the next roadmap.
He said the new road map would be released in the early part of next year.