Philippines may see influx of outsourced IT jobs

Tom S. Noda
28 Aug 2008

Some 60,000 jobs in the information and communications technology (ICT) field are expected to be transferred to the Philippines by 2010, according to the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA).

Nora Terrado, country manager of Headstrong, a global consulting and IT services company and PSIA member, said no less than Babu Lal Jain, president of the World Business Process Outsourcing (WBPO) Forum, made this estimate during the recent World BPO forum held in New Jersey.

Speaking at a PSIA press conference earlier on, Terrado said Jain made his prediction after learning of the Philippines' offshoring and outsourcing capabilities as presented by PSIA members.

The PSIA, with the support of the US offices of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), sent a trade mission to four US cities last month. Visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the mission, made up of PSIA members, succeeded in forging partnerships between Filipino software firms and US companies, IT associations and Filipino-American professionals in the software field.

PSIA president Beng Coronel said the goal of the US roadshow was to showcase the Philippines as a BPO destination of choice. This was done, she explained, through meetings with various American IT groups where they showed a presentation entitled 'The Philippines--The Missing Piece in Your Global Sourcing Strategy.'

She said the Philippines now ranks as the third largest provider of BPO services next to India and Canada, citing a 2007 study done by the Everest Research Institute.

She added that on top of the 60,000 ICT jobs that are projected to been transferred to the Philippines in the next two years, the local software industry's US$240-million revenue at present is also expected to reach about $1 billion by 2010, based on the industry's yearly 32% growth.

According to PSIA, there are now 80,000 software developers in the Philippines today working in some 380 software companies. This total, she noted, excludes about 30,000 Filipino programmers who are now working abroad.

Among the strengths of the Philippines' software industry that the PSIA cited were the Filipinos' IT skills, their fluency in English and their strong customer service orientation. The country's robust IT infrastructure and financial attractiveness also contribute to making the Philippines an ideal place for BPO work, Coronel said.

The PSIA trade mission conducted networking sessions, IT fora and one-on-one meetings with various business and IT organizations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. A grand reception at the Philippine Center in New York was also held on July 29, where PSIA and DTI launched the Access US Philippines program, a marketing initiative to bring Philippine providers to the boardrooms of US global sourcing decision makers, sponsored by the BPO Council, Lisnagol Ventures and the Outsourcing Institute.

The U.S. roadshow was PSIA's first major international marketing event and was a fitting cap to its 20th anniversary celebration.

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