IT-BPO to Grow 25% in 2009

CLARK FREEPORT, Philippines – The information technology and business processing outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines is expected to grow 20-25 percent this year and can hire 80,000-90,000 employees, the chairman of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT) said.

The forecast is based on the “very rapid growth” the sector showed in 2008, CICT Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said.

“Hopefully, it’s attainable because the industry is growing,” Chua said of the projection. “The Philippines has made a name for itself.”

Last year, the industry posted growth of 35 percent. Revenue totaled $6 billion, and 372,000 jobs were created.

“We also expect [the industry] to grow despite the global financial crisis because of the many initiatives undertaken by the government, which include subsidies for training, career caravans, making of assessment tools to streamline the recruitment process and promotion of the 10 ‘Next Wave Cities,'” Chua told reporters.

Chua was among the officials who met President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the Cyber City Teleservices here on Tuesday.

Cyber City president Jonathan Rosenberg said that in this quarter, the company needed 500 more call center agents.

CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim said the commission’s key messages at a Cabinet meeting held here included the Philippines’ rise as second to India – not counting Canada – in the IT-BPO market.

“We have put the Philippines on the global IT-BPO map over the past 12 months,” Ibrahim said, referring to the inclusion of the southern cities of Iloilo and Davao on the list of top 31 IT cities of the global business consulting firm KPMG.

Tholons, a global IT-BPO research group, ranked Cebu City as number one.

At the Cabinet meeting, the CICT raised the need for policy changes in terms of legislating laws on data privacy and against cyber crimes.

Ibrahim also said university curricula should be reengineered to include service science and management.

Chua said operating in “Next Wave Cities” – Laguna, Cavite, Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Pampanga Central (Clark-Angeles City-Mabalacat), Bulacan Central and Bulacan South, Cagayan de Oro and Lipa – offered lower operations costs, which will enable the companies to bring the jobs where the people are.