By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

THE Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) will unveil in November the recalibrated forecasts on the near-term growth of the IT-BPM industry.

IBPAP President and Chief Executive Officer Rey C. Untal said at a forum in Pasay City yesterday that the first draft of a commissioned study to adjust the 2022 industry roadmap will be presented to him this week.

“The study started two months ago. The results should be presented to me initially this Thursday. And then we target to have this reviewed by the board… Target namin, the big unveil is in the Innovation Summit (on Nov. 12),” he said.

Mr. Untal added the report should cover the new forecasts: the best and worst-case scenarios and what’s likely to happen given the IT-BPM industry performance in the past two years.

“The recalibration exercise is about looking at, primarily, growth trajectory. It is not discarding the roadmap at its core. Kasi the roadmap is more than just the numbers eh. It’s about the interventions, growth areas,” he said.

To recall, IBPAP earlier said the projections it made in a 2016 roadmap on IT-BPM industry growth in the country has failed to live up to expectations. This prompted the organization to do a reevaluation of its assumptions to consider the slowdown over the past two years.

“This roadmap that was done in 2016… predicted that for the next five or six years, we will continue to see growth amounting to about 100,000 new jobs every year here in the Philippines for the IT-BPM industry. Unfortunately, the past two years hasn’t lived up to expectations,” Mr. Untal said.

He cited factors such as the campaign to “bring back the jobs home” in North America and local fiscal developments that shifted the focus of the sector away from internal efforts for upskilling.

“It’s unfortunate that many of our time and our stakeholders’ time are diluted because of distracting policy matters… In my view, most of our focus should be around building up our perceived country competitiveness as well as taking action that will translate to our ability to truly pivot the skills of our future workforce,” Mr. Untal said.

The initial roadmap of IBPAP projected the IT-BPM industry to produce 7.8 million direct and indirect jobs until 2022. Of this number, 73% are expected to be in the mid- to high-value jobs.

Within the timeframe, the roadmap also forecast a 9% revenue growth annually with a $40-billion revenue target by 2022.

However, industry growth was stunted during the past two years. The IT-BPM sector recorded a 2.18% revenue growth in 2017 to $23.4 billion, and about a 5% growth in 2018 to as much as $24.8 billion.

For this year, IBPAP said better figures are expected due to the lessening impact of the US protectionist policy.

Nandyan pa rin ang uncertainty natin on fiscal reform [Uncertainty on fiscal reform is still there]… (But) less and less an issue na ’yung protectionist policy,” Mr. Untal said.

“In fact, meron pang mga movement sa US [there are movements in the US] where the minimum wage is being pushed at the federal level, hindi na lang sa [not just on the] state level. So if costs escalate in North America, trickledown effect, countries like the Philippines, India and others will become more attractive,” he added.