Catherine Talavera – The Philippine Star
January 23, 2024 | 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — The Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) is targeting to exceed 1.84 million jobs this year.
According to Information Technology & Business Process Association (IBPAP) president and CEO Jack Madrid, the IT-BPM closed 2023 with 1.7 million direct employment, an eight percent increase from the previous year.
In addition, the industry generated over $35 billion worth of revenues for the economy last year.
“And in 2024, I have more good news, we project to grow another seven to eight percent. So we should cross 1.8 million jobs, in fact 1.84 million, and $39 billion in revenue for 2024,” Madrid said.
Madrid added that the industry is expected to cross the two million jobs level in 2025.
“And, you know that’s quite significant. It took over 10 years or maybe almost 20 years to hit one million jobs and we’re attempting to do the second million in less than six. So it’s really quite a feat,” he said.
Meanwhile, sought for comment on the recent opinion of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the work from home (WFH) issue, Madrid said they welcome the clarification, but raised concerns that the headlines on the issue may discourage employees from working for the industry. “While we welcome the opinion and clarification, the headlines are a bit of a concern because you know when employees read a headline like that, it could discourage them from the industry,” Madrid said.
He stressed that the industry needs more talent, noting a challenge in talent supply.
In September last year, the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) issued Resolution 026-22 that allows registered business enterprises (RBEs) under the IT-BPM sector to adopt up to 100 percent WFH arrangement by transferring their registration to the Board of Investments (BOI) from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).
The DOJ opinion issued on Jan. 3, clarified that business enterprises located in the economic or freeport zone must continue to conduct their activities within the zone boundaries if they wish to continue availing of their tax incentives under the CREATE Act.
“Likewise, these enterprises are not prohibited from adopting a WFH arrangement but will no longer be eligible to continue enjoying the tax incentives,” the DOJ said.
Madrid said the paper transfer from the PEZA to the BOI is “a very good legal solution to give more flexibility”.
“And I’m happy to receive information that the DOJ opinion will not affect the work flexibility of those currently enjoying 100 percent work flexibility from the paper transfer to BOI. That is certainly a significant clarification,” Madrid said.
Sought for comment on the DOJ opinion, BOI managing head and Department of Trade (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo reiterated the agency’s recommendation for 30 percent WFH threshold for RBes in ecozones or freeports.
“Moving forward, we reiterate the DTI’s recommendation to the House of Representatives for a 30 percent work from home threshold for RBEs in ecozones or freeport zones,” Rodolfo said.
“Once ecozones or freeport zones are already given flexibility, we also also support allowing those who have transferred to the BOI to take advantage of this legal solution, to go back to PEZA,” he added.