Although projected to end flat this 2020, the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry nonetheless sees a strong recovery.
In a report from the Manila Standard, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) projects a steady growth in the workforce and revenues in the next two years.
The headcount increase is at 2.7 percent to 5 percent, translating to 1.37 million to 1.43 million full-time employees. The revenues, meanwhile, amount to $29.09 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 3.2 percent to 5.5 percent. These figures represent the IT-BPM industry’s goal for 2022.
Key Growth Drivers
While unveiling this vision in the culmination of the five-day global conference International Innovation Summit, IBPAP acknowledged the importance of identifying factors that would promote such the growth of the sector.
To this, global consulting agency Everest bared six “imperatives” for IT-BPM’s recovery and resilience in the next years:
- strengthening of telecom infrastructure to better support long-term remote work
- acceleration of investment in talent development programs, especially for next-generation skills
- stronger pivot to digitally supplemented services by rapidly accelerating investments in digital and cybersecurity initiatives.
- consistent tapping of countryside potential by accelerating talent and infrastructure development outside Metro Manila
- improvement of local industry’s position in the global market by enhancing focus on resilience, increased commitment from players and government, and the ability to deliver complex services;
- improvement in ease of doing business by enhancing and strengthening government support to offer a business-friendly environment
Stronger ties among stakeholders, including the private sector, government, and the academe is necessary to make industry growth happen and establish the country’s position as one of the top investment destinations in the world, according to IBPAP.
Focus on Digitalization
Through different initiatives, the government is accelerating the creation of support systems for digitalization. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), for one, has recently announced that they have installed over 6,000 free Wi-Fi sites nationwide, as reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
These stations are in over 1,000 municipalities and 80 provinces, including the capital region. All in all, the program has put up free Wi-Fi sites in 138 public libraries, 1,018 public schools, and 967 state universities and colleges, as well as Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) institutions.
By the end of the year, the DICT hopes to roll out a total of 10,069 live sites.
Aiming to add more in the next three years, the agency envisions putting up 100,000 Wi-Fi access sites by the year 2023 after the deployment of the National Broadband Program.
In the recent budget deliberations reported by Manila Standard, the program has acquired a P5.9 billion budget, a significant increase from the formerly allocated P902 million. The broadband initiative aims to widen the coverage and boost the country’s internet services.
Aside from making the internet more accessible and increasing fund allocation for broadband services, the government moves to speed up the approval process of telecommunications tower permits.
In a GMA News report, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) cited over 2,000 approvals on telco tower applications since the president’s directive on accelerating authorization.
Development Outside the Capital
Aside from strengthening digital infrastructures, the government focuses on developing key areas in the countryside to establish new investment destinations. Back in June, the DICT introduced “25 digital cities,” which are set to attract P70 billion in investments from business process outsourcing firms, as reported by Business World.
The areas chosen based on talent availability and business environment, among other factors, will receive various forms of support from the government and other stakeholders. This includes reskilling of the local workforce, the establishment of more telco towers, and promotion of the cities to investors.
The 25 areas DICT identified are Balanga City, Batangas City, Cabanatuan City, Dagupan City, General Santos City, Iligan City, Iriga City, Laguna Cluster (San Pablo, Calamba, and Los Baños), Laoag City, Legazpi City, Malolos City, Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Imus, and General Trias), Metro Rizal (Taytay, Cainta, and Antipolo City), Olongapo City, Puerto Princesa City, Roxas City, San Fernando City (La Union), San Fernando City (Pampanga), San Jose Del Monte City, Tacloban City, Tagbilaran City, Tarlac City, Tuguegarao City, Urdaneta City, and Zamboanga City.
This move towards the provinces proves beneficial at a time when most property seekers are looking to areas outside Metro Manila for residence.
In the trend report Lamudi published last October, Provincial cities and overseas interest contribute to real estate resilience, places outside the capital region, including Calamba, General Trias, Santa Rosa, and Lipa, recorded the highest change in the increase of inquiries, suggesting greater real estate demand.
As investments pour into provincial cities, residents looking to settle in such locations can seize various employment opportunities.
Sources: Manila Standard, PNA, GMA News, Business World