By Justine Irish D. Tabile, Reporter

THE PHILIPPINE information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry is on track to hit its $35.4-billion (P2- trillion) revenue target by yearend, propped by US outsourcing companies, a talent gap in North America and strong government support, according to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

“The P$35.4 billion will be the likely number at the end of 2023,” IBPAP President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Madrid told reporters on the sidelines of an industry summit on Wednesday. “Hopefully, we will hit it or even slightly exceed it.”

If the goal is hit, the industry will post an 8.8% annual growth and surpass the global industry growth rate of 7.7%.

Mr. Madrid said this would allow the industry to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to 8.4% from 7% a year ago. The share of India’s IT-BPM industry in its economy pales in comparison at 3-4%, he added.

Meanwhile, the Philippine IT-BPM sector has surpassed the global industry’s performance in terms of headcount as the number of full-time employees reached 1.7 million, 8.7% higher than last year.

“The Philippines is a world capital in IT-BPM and we seem to be the first choice whenever there is an opportunity for offshoring and delivering customer experience,” Mr. Madrid said.

This is because Filipinos have a reputation of being able to deliver complex business services and diverse functions across vertical industries, he added.

The Philippine government has played a crucial role in the industry’s growth story by supporting remote and hybrid work policies.

“These policies have not only helped companies adapt to the changing work landscape but have also attracted foreign investments,” Mr. Madrid said.

He said growth is also evident in the IBPAP’s membership and the multinationals that have set up offices in the country and are aiming to expand even more.

“It is important to emphasize that most of the world is already here,” he said. “And those that are here, most of them want to grow their presence even more, because they’re happy with the results so far.”

The IT-BPM sector expects to add 257,000 full-time workers and $5.9 billion in revenues in the two years until the end of this year.

“These numbers indicate that the industry is set to achieve 23% of the 1.1 million jobs it needs to create and 20% of the $29.5 billion it needs to generate by 2028,” Mr. Madrid said.

The IT-BPM industry’s growth was also mirrored in the countryside, where development was robust as companies committed to expand to more locations outside Metro Manila, he said.

Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Clark, Davao and Iloilo are now the favored locations of IT-BPM companies, the IBPAP chief said.

“This commitment not only contributes to economic growth but also spreads the benefits of the industry to regions that need it and across other sectors like food, logistics, real estate, retail and transportation,” he added.

The Philippines ranked second in the top global IT-BPM players after India, which remained No. 1 due to its population advantage, Mr. Madrid said. “We are not the biggest, but I’d like to occasionally say that we are like the Swiss Bank of the IT-BPM industry — not the biggest, but I think we’re the best in delivering customer experience.”

There is a chance for the country to overtake India “to a certain extent” as the “whole world wants a Filipino agent to take care of their query or concern.”