IT-BPM targets 1.1 million new jobs by 2028

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector is targeting to create 1.1 million new jobs in the next six years, which will be driven by digitally ready talent, as well as improved ease of doing business to attract more global investors.

In a virtual press conference yesterday, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president and CEO Jack Madrid said that the 1.1 million new jobs is among the targets set in the group’s Roadmap 2028, set to be launched at the 14th International Innovation Summit (IIS) later this month.

“This is just one of the many significant milestones that the IT-BPM industry will reach by 2028. Additionally, the Philippine IT-BPM sector will create more impact through countryside development, digitally enabled services, dollar revenue, high-complexity work, and indirect employment,” Madrid said.

“We’re excited to reveal more at IIS 2022 through keynotes and plenaries on talent strategies, changing workways, key action plans, and many more,” he said.

Madrid cited the presence of a workforce with digitally ready talent as among the factors that will drive the industry’s growth in the next six years.

“There has never been a more important time to address the mismatch of talent supply and demand. We are in a global war for talent. And I think given our inherit advantages, the fact that we have a young population, the fact that our country side locations, not just Manila have excellent schools, we have an opportunity to continue and maybe do a better job in upskilling and reskilling the existing workforce with the support of our private sector partners,” Madrid said.

He said the industry would also need the full support of the different branches of government in order to achieve its growth targets.

Madrid stressed that the Philippines is in a unique position, saying that it has scale to meet the growing demand for offshore work from our global customers.

“While there are other regions that are competing for our industry’s work, I think only the Philippines and India have that scale. So I think in the next several years, and this will be a very important topic at the IIS, we will be talking about how we can achieve this,” Madrid said.

Madrid also cited the need for an improved ease of business to be able to attract more investments.

“I speak to investors everyday, and listening to the voice of existing investors as well as prospective investors, I think we also need to improve the image of the Philippines as an environment that is very cooperative and friendly and keen to attract investments,” he said.

“The ease of doing business has always been important, but I think it is even more important to address the current concerns of both present and prospect investors. I’m not just talking about the need for more investor-friendly legislation, but I’m speaking really about the speed, the responsiveness and the way that we communicate our brand as a country and as an industry. So I think we need to address this,” Madrid said.

During the press conference, Madrid also discussed the importance of hybrid work arrangement, emphasizing that it is among the expectations of not only the industry’s employees, but also investors.

“So if we want to continue to attract investors, then we need to show the world that we are serious and we are ready to enact a more permanent work from home, work from anywhere hybrid law,” he said.

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) was earlier pushing for the extension of the letters of authority (LOA) allowing IT operators to implement a 30 percent work from home limit (WFH) until March 2023.

While the approval of the extension was deferred in the last PEZA board meeting Friday, PEZA officer in charge and deputy director general for policy and planning Tereso Panga said this was “approved in principle”.

Madrid also pointed out the need to continue working on expanding the qualities and cost-effectiveness of digital infrastructure across the countryside.

“You know I’m very excited about the growth prospects across the country because these represent pools of Filipino talent that are ready and willing to take on the challenges of the industry,” Madrid said.

He said that during the pandemic, the IT-BPM saw impressive growth of its workforce across the countryside.

“And this is something that will continue as a major trend for us to achieve that 1.1 million new jobs by 2028,”he said.

For this year, IBPAP said the Philippine IT-BPM industry is projected to increase between seven to eight percent in terms of full-time employees and eight to ten percent in terms of revenue by the end of the year.

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