During the recent bi-annual Philippine economic briefing, government officials noted that the Philippines is still an attractive investment hub for local and foreign stakeholders, even with the persistent issues that are plaguing the country.
The two key issues are the ongoing standoff between the MNLF and the Philippine army in Zamboanga, and the mounting P10-billion pork barrel scam involving several senators.
According to John Martin Miller, CEO and Chairman at Nestle Philippines, the country has a supportive and active government that properly deals with the challenges, which helps create a good image for future and current investors.
Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima lauded the Aquino administration for handling the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) scandal well. The secretary said the transparent treatment of the government on the issue proves the maturity of the administration. Moreover, Purisima noted that Filipinos are likewise participating actively in fighting corruption by eliminating PDAF and act against those who misused it. Meanwhile, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the time to strike is now as the Filipinos are fuelled to rule out the wrongdoers in the government.
Global issues such as the crisis in Syria and the end of the stimulus fund in the US are also considered challenges. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco said these can impact the Philippine economy as well.
According to the executives at the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), Filipinos who are working abroad are enticed to come back home and find employment opportunities in the booming information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector.
Joey Gurango, President of IBPAP member-org, Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), said since the IT-BPO offers jobs with relatively higher pay, Filipinos working abroad and those who are working domestically are enticed to work in the sector.
Gurango once worked in the US back in the 1970s and was employed in IT heavyweights such as Apple and Microsoft. He now owns a software company with four employees who have worked in Australia and Singapore.
He said the local IT-BPO sector has lots to offer and all that needs to be done is to inform and educate Filipinos about the vast developments in progressing countries.
Meanwhile, IBPAP President Jose Mari Mercado said all IT-BPO companies in the Philippines have a ‘balikbayan’ and landed a job in the rapidly growing outsourcing industry. In fact, Joyce G. Virata, IBPAP’s Senior Executive Director, said the Philippines provides IT-BPO services to almost a tenth of the global market, and is second to the leading global provider of IT which is India.
The Philippines still leads the global voice services outsourcing segment, accounting for 38 percent of the global market, which could easily grow to two-fifths of the entire voice industry by 2016.
According to Standard Chartered Bank, the growth of the Philippine economy will remain strong as domestic demand and investments in the country continue to flourish.
The UK-based financial institution released a report called "Asian sovereigns -- Key takeaways from investor trip" where it was noted that this year, the Philippines is one of the strongest players In the Asian region. The country is also recognized for its gross domestic product (GDP) which is said to have surpassed initial expectations.
Standard Chartered’s executives analyzed three Asian countries - the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. They coordinated with independent analysts, multilateral agencies, and quasi-sovereign corporates. They found that the Philippines is a "positive outlier" due to remittances and strong business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Moreover, for this year’s first semester, the local economy grew 7.6 percent, which is higher compared to 6.4 percent for the same period last year. It has also exceeded the 6-7 percent growth projection of the government.
by: Karen Cayamanda
About 10 percent of graduates outside Metro Manila are ready to be employed in the IT-BPM industry, that is why the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) urged BPO companies in the country to look for talent in nearby cities and provinces.
IBPAP noted that 75 percent of graduates every year come from provinces. According to IBPAP Senior Executive Director Gillian Joyce G. Virata, more than 70 percent of IT-BPM companies are based in Metro Manila. That means they are far away from where their potential employees are located. She said it is sensible to look for talent outside Metro Manila.
These cities and provinces were cited as potential areas where BPO companies can find talent: Cebu, Bacolod, Baguio, Davao, as well as Iloilo, Calabarzon, Region 1, and Region 2.
From 2011, BPO employment increased by 21 percent, with more than 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012.
IBPAP aims to post $16 billion in revenues by the end of 2013, $25 billion by 2016, and employ 1.3 million Filipinos directly and 3.2 million indirectly.
According to Nasscom, a world-renowned information technology organization, the future seems bright for the global business process management (BPM) industry as they predict a 6-7 percent growth on spending up until 2020.
The industry body predicts that the entire BPM sector will increase from $130 billion to $233 billion by 2020.
Nasscom President Som Mittal said the key growth contributors of the sector are: the shifting healthcare regulations in the US, Europe’s financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector, and the business-process-as-a-service (BPaaS) gaining traction within the horizontal services segment.
He added that the industry is gearing up for high-value offerings to cater to the demands of the new breed of customers who are looking for business technology solutions, cloud services, platform-based delivery, and enterprise mobility.
The Indian BPM sector is also anticipated to grow from this year’s $20.8 billion to $50 billion by 2020.
According to IT and software consultancy firm Ovum, the Philippines is still a preferred outsourcing destination due to its competitive rates and large, English-speaking workforce. Records show that the customer relationship management (CRM) segment has a potential to make the country a non-voice and non-English-speaking delivery hub.
The robust economy of the Philippines is also making it an attractive candidate for outsourcers and the emerging domestic market. Ovum’s Associate Analyst and co-author of the report Margaret Goldberg said their research during their visit to the country showed them that the Philippines will maintain its position as one of the leading offshore front-office outsourcing hubs.
She added that the proven track record of Filipinos in customer service, their affinity to Western culture, strong command of the English language, and economical price points will reinforce the growth of the outsourcing industry of the Philippines.
Goldberg also predicted that this year’s 117,000 agent positions will grow to at least 173,000 by the end of 2017.
The recent data from Information Services Group (ISG) on UK’s public sector outsourcing market shows that this year is lower compared to last year’s activity levels.
Figures from ISG’s Outsourcing Index for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) show that the UK public sector market was worth €4.6bn for the first half, which is twice as much as this year’s €2.0bn for the same period.
The report covers IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) contracts such as finance, human resources, among others that are worth €4 million or more. However, for Q1 2013, IT contracts are identified to have led the entire region - accounting for nearly two-thirds of contracts.
Meanwhile, the public sector trend in the EMEA region noticeably declined from last year’s first half (€3.1bn) to €2.4bn this year for the same period. The UK was also identified to be the market within the EMEA with the highest figures posted since 2008, and just recently, exceeded its five-year average.
All in all, across the EMEA region, the UK maintains its position as the top destination for public sector outsourcing. In fact, €2bn worth of public sector outsourcing activity posted by the UK represents five-sixth of all public sector outsourcing activity in EMEA.