THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY and Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) on Tuesday said it missed its annual revenue and employment growth goals under its five-year road map due to uncertainty amid plans to change the fiscal incentive regime and US President Donald Trump’s vow to take jobs back to the United States.
“Based on a study that we have completed recently, the IT-BPM (business process management) industry in the Philippines has grown four percent in headcount and four percent in revenue over the past 18 months,” IBPAP Chairman Lito T. Tayag said in a speech at the end of the two-day International Innovation Summit 2018 held in Taguig City.
This translates to 1.19 million industry workers as of June 2018 from 1.14 million at end-2016, as well as $23.8 billion in revenues from $22.9 billion in 2016.
Mr. Tayag attributed such growth to multinationals which have been setting up and expanding shared services capacities.
“The growth, however, is lower than the eight-percent annual growth that the road map 2022 had originally projected. We believe we were impacted by the wait-and-see attitude of investors and potential locators due to a number of geopolitical issues and uncertainty over the incentives rationalization,” Mr. Tayag explained, noting that the sector remains the biggest employment generator in the Philippines despite a currently challenging policy environment.
IBPAP President and Chief Executive Officer Rey C. Untal said Washington’s “protectionist stance” was also to blame for “a strong wait and see attitude in 2017.”
“But unfortunately, it prevailed and continued,” Mr. Untal told reporters in a briefing after the event on Tuesday.
The group may revise targets under its 2017-2020, under which it currently aims to generate 1.8 million jobs and hit $40 billion in revenues by the end of that period.
“The fact that our actuals show a difference from what we said our targets are, to me, the prudent course of action is to recalibrate,” Mr. Untal said, adding that the revisions could be completed next quarter. — Janina C. Lim