IT-BPM industry closer to meet goals after settlement of hybrid work issue

Hybrid work set-up would bring the local IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry closer to its targets, according to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

“Now that we have this uncertainty of hybrid work setups behind us, that certainly removes one critical hurdle toward our goal and the industry has grown impressively globally led by the Philippines and India over the years,” IBPAP President and CEO Jack Madrid said in a recent televised interview. 

According to the IBPAP chief, India and the Philippines are the world leaders in IT-BPM, noting that the Philippines is the capital of the contact center space. 

Madrid said the IBPAP hopes to end the year with “close to 1.6 million Filipinos employed in the industry,” adding that with the removal of the roadblock that is the uncertainty in work arrangement, there is now no reason to believe that the “momentum” will lessen. 

The flagship organization of the IT-BPM industry earlier said that the number of full-time employees (FTEs) in the country increased by 120,000 in 2021, bringing the sector’s total headcount to 1.44 million and recording a growth of 9.1 percent compared to 2020. 

Even amid the global headwinds, the IBPAP chief expressed optimism when he said on Wednesday, “We’re certainly off to a very strong start in 2022. We don’t have any reason to believe that that trajectory will not be maintained.” 

In early September, IBPAP said the IT-BPM industry is projected to increase between 7 to 8 percent in terms of FTEs and 8 to 10 percent in terms of revenue by the end of 2022. 

The organization is also aiming to create 1.1 million new jobs in six years, but IBPAP said this rests on enabling conditions; favorable government policies and incentives; accelerated upskilling and reskilling of the Filipino talent for digital services; improved ease of doing business to attract more global investors, among others. 

On Tuesday, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. pitched to American businesses investment opportunities in the IT-BPM sector of the Philippines. 

“For American businesses, we offer investment opportunities in areas such as Information Technology and Business Process Management or IT-BPM, medical products and devices, electric vehicles and batteries, agribusiness, and telecommunications, infrastructure and services,” Marcos said. 

In response, Madrid said, “I think I was really pleased that our industry is top-of-mind with President Marcos and his economic team. And good to see that he understands very well how IT-BPM is an indispensable pillar of the Philippine economy.” 

The IBPAP recently lauded the decision of the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB) to transfer registration of IT-BPM enterprises from Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the Board of Investments (BOI). 

The move is seen as a “win-win solution” to the months-long standoff on FIRB restrictions on IT-BPM firms extending their employees’ work-from-home setup. With the transfer from PEZA to BOI, these firms can continue accessing fiscal incentives without violating Section 309 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended by the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law. 

Image credits: PITON-Global