Despite a challenging year where BPO investments have fallen short of projections for the second straight year, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) remain positive as 2017 draws to a close.
IBPAP’s president and CEO, Rey Untal echoed the association’s positive outlook due to a number of encouraging signs such as that of the number of pledges within Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) as a sign of ongoing recovery plus the proposed Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) where key BPO players are discussing ways on how to stay afloat.
“We will definitely end the year in growth, but I can’t give a figure. The latest version of the TRAIN bill at the Senate has been very favorable and supportive of what the industry is espousing,” said Untal as published by the BusinessMirror.
Mr Untal also stated that the sentiment and positive outlook of key BPO players were a deciding factor in the road for recovery by the PEZA investment projects.
“The reduction in investments does not constitute a contraction; it means we grew less compared to the previous year. But with these numbers narrowing down, I’m very pleased, and it validates the information I’ve been getting from the ground,” Untal was further quoted.
Despite the low turnout of the direct IT-BPM investments this year, it is a matter of perspective according to Mr Untal as he stated that the association does not see it as a market contraction, but just as a rate of growth slowing down but there are still merits within.
In May, investments fell by as much as 34 percent, but this recovered to -27 percent in August, and then to -21 percent in September. As of October, Untal said this has fallen further to -10 percent. With a trajectory rate shooting upwards from the negative chart, there are opportunities for 2018.
Adding to the optimism are the businessman who have given indication that there is a distinct possibility that they will open operations within the country as the Philippine economy is one of the best performers in Asia.
According to the IT-BPM road map, the average yearly growth of the industry is projected 9 percent per annum within the year 2016-2022. In a financial forecast, $23 billion in total revenue from 2016 to the goal of $40 billion in six years time.
The Philippine IT-BPM industry sees itself benefitting from the nation’s heavy investments poured into infrastructure that creates more market opportunities as a staging ground for more foreign businesses to gain entry to the Philippines.
Also, the number of PEZA areas across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao are expanding where it creates more hubs to clear the way for BPO company operations and generate more employment locally. In 2016, it is estimated that the IT-BPM industry employs over 1.15 million Filipinos and has generated a profit worth $23 billion.
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