By Janina C. Lim, Reporter

THE Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said revenues picked up pace in 2018, but failed to reach its targets under the current industry road map.

During a roundtable interview with reporters on Wednesday at the group’s headquarters in Taguig City, IBPAP President and CEO Rey E. Untal said the industry does not have official revenue figures yet, but estimated it generated between $24.5 billion to $24.8 billion in revenues last year.

If achieved, this would translate to a 4.7-5.98% growth from 2017’s $23.4 billion revenues. The growth rate is faster than the 2.18% increase recorded in 2017.

“I think there was a prevailing discussion around the overall uncertainty, really and what we have said in the past, it’s less about what eventually the fiscal regime will be. It’s more about how are we managing the predictability of fiscal forecasts,” Mr. Untal said.

These uncertainties will likely prevent the industry from attaining the $40-billion revenue target by 2022, which translates to a 9% annual revenue growth.

“We will not hit [the annual target]. I’m certain. I will be happy if we hit the 6%,” Mr. Untal added.

Mr. Untal said the IBPAP will most likely lower the targets under the road map.

However, he noted that major incumbents saw growth, adding that the information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) grew as much as 32% in terms of new investment pledges at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

“The 2022 roadmap was created to determine what was the maximum trajectory that the industry could have, in terms of growth and what is needed… unfortunately nga lang nung 2016 the horizon on tax reform being so contentious was not factored in. And also the initially viewed protectionist stance in the US, wala pa ’yun eh. So when we do this recalibration, the premise will be what is the maximum growth we can achieve given how globally this industry is growing,” Mr. Untal said.

The revised industry road map will also outline the interventions that can be made to drive growth, and will likely touch on the fiscal incentives regime, according to Mr. Untal.

The IBPAP official noted that the local industry’s performance should, moving forward, outpace global growth which is currently at 4% to 5%, citing estimates by research firm Everest Group.

“If we are lower than the world is growing, then the other countries will overtake us,” Mr. Untal said.

Mr. Untal is hoping to finish the revised road map within two to three months and present it at the annual IT-BPO summit slated in November.