DOST assures support to BPM industry

Manila, Philippines -- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) yesterday assured the government's continuing support to the country's information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) industry.

Secretary Mario Go. Montejo, DOST head, hailed the country's IT-BPM industry for its leading position in the world.

"The Philippines is a global leader in voice and non-voice complex services. The government will continue to drive initiatives and support strategies to help accelerate the country's leadership in the global IT-BPM industry," he said.

DOST through one of its 20 attached agencies, the Information and Communications Technology (DOST-ICTO), jointly launched Monday in Makati City together with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and TeamAsia, its strategic communications arm the Philippine IT-BPM Road Map 2012-2016.

Montejo highlighted the government's role in a speech read for him by ICTO Deputy Exective Director Monchito Ibrahim.

He said the government will provide the industry "an enabling environment" where it could sustain its competitiveness.

To the uninitiated, BPM was formerly called business process outsourcing (BPO), a huge source of employment for more than half a million job-hungry Filipinos.

Gillian Joyce G. Virata, senior executive director of the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP), said their group adopted "management" instead of "outsourcing" after India's example.

BPAP, she said, changed the definition starting in February 2012, believing what BPAP is doing in the country applies to using management instead of outsourcing.

Montejo noted the potentials of the IT-BPM industry, citing estimates that it "is poised to expand as much as US$240-250 billion by 2016."

The Philippines' share, he said, given the "right conditions" could grow twice as much to 10 percent, "generating some US$25 billion in annual revenues."

A statement from the event's organizers described the IT-BPM as being considered the Philippines' "fastest growing business segment."

"In 2011, it earned US$11 billion in revenues and employed about 638 Filipinos. Through its updated road map, IBPAP hopes to re-engage and re-focus its sectors towards faster, more scalable growth," they said.

Being eyed in the road map, said Jomari Mercado, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of IBPAP, are voice BPM, healthcare information management, finance and accounting and insurance, human resources, animation and game development, IT, engineering services, and multilingual BPM.

"Through it, we hope to continue to sustain our growth as well as assess relevant trends that can benefit further industry expansion," he said.

On the other hand, a new study has affirmed IT-BPM's potential to attain its targets by 2016 of earning US$25 billion and employing 1.3 million.