The Philippines recently overtook India as the world’s call-center capital; in 2011, the country’s Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry contributed approximately US$11 billion in export revenues, more than 640,000 direct jobs and approximately 1.5 million indirect jobs (e.g. construction and service jobs generated to serve the sector’s growth) to the Philippine economy.
In addition to solidifying its lead, the industry plans to target four fast-growing offshoring and outsourcing services in the coming years: Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing, Finance and Accounting Outsourcing, HR Outsourcing and Creative Process Outsourcing.
At a joint press conference held by the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), ICTO and BPAP revealed their new programs targeted to develop key BPO market segments.
“We are the world’s number one call center provider and we intend to attain market leadership in the UK and Australia as well,” says ICTO Deputy Executive Director Alejandro Melchor. He adds that it is also the industry’s goal to double its market share in Information Technology Outsourcing, Engineering Services Outsourcing and Multilingual BPO by 2016.
The IT-BPO industry accounted for roughly 5% of the GDP in 2011, and is estimated to account for 8.6% by 2016. “Its most significant impact would be on employment,” says ICTO executive director Louis Casambre. “Our programs are not limited to that of industry but also to improving the quality of our graduates and improve their chances of landing jobs not only in the BPO sector but in other industries as well.” ICTO also intends to provide strong support for BPAP-ICTO partnership initiatives such as the Global Competitiveness Assessment Tool (GCAT), recruitment marketing, workforce core skills development, and roadmapping.
Industry leaders such as BPAP chairman Alfredo Ayala have expressed appreciation for the support that they are getting from the government. “DOST-ICTO has been very supportive of our industry, and we are confident that these new initiatives will help us to achieve our objectives,” he says. “ We believe that we can generate $25 billion in export revenue, 1.3 million in direct jobs and over 3 million indirect jobs by 2016, but only if industry can further step up its partnership with government. The initiatives announced by DOST-ICTO are a major step in that direction.”
“We remain bullish about the prospects for IT-BPO and we believe in the talent and resilience of the Filipino,” says DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. “They have proven themselves time and time again, weathering the Asian economic crisis and recent global economic downturn. They didn’t just survive; they thrived, as can be proven in the consistent growth of the industry.” He adds that DOST can help the IT-BPO industry through “Filipinnovation”—strengthening the quality of the manpower required by the industry through its S&T Scholarship Program and entrepreneurship training and support to MSMEs. — TJD,