Philippines sets sights on leading IT market

Training the next generation of Philippine IT specialists: MCCID College School Building, San Mateo, Rizal Province. Source: Wikimedia

The Philippines says it can become the world’s largest market for information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) if state support continues and if sufficient training is available, as talks to establish a telecoms network have reportedly fallen through.

“We are pretty much top two, top three in the IT-BPM servicing market in the world, hence why we have always been known as the destination of choice for IT-BPM services,” said the chairman of IT and Business Process Association Philippines (IBPAP) Danilo Sebastian Reyes.

With a presidential election later this year along with an increasing number of IT graduates, Reyes said there was an opportunity for the archipelago to displace India as the IT-BPM leader.

“We can definitely maintain our position because of the continuing partnership between the industry which is represented by IBPAP and the government together with the roadmap we are implementing and we will be developing. So I think we should be able to sustain, if not improve our position,” Reyes said.

“We’ve got the momentum, we have the credibility in the global market and certainly we have the people to deliver quality service.”

Reyes said the Philippines needed to address the volume of skilled IT engineers entering the industry.

“If we are able to marry what are the actual industry requirements for employees and those that are being produced by the universities then the growth path of the industry will continue to be met simply because you have the right talent coming into the industry,” Reyes said.

He said the service management programme built up with the Commission on Higher Education and state universities was set to help in developing ready talent graduating from universities and becoming IT specialists.

“If we are able to produce from the university system and increase the yield from the 500,000 university graduates that we have a year, then that would fuel the growth of the industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Telstra and brewer San Miguel to develop a mobile network in the country have reportedly failed after months of talks.

Telstra hoped it could establish a joint venture to take on Globe Telecom and PLDT.

Shareholders queried the high risks involved in the deal and Telstra’s share price has slumped since talks were first confirmed last August.

San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the talks had failed after months of deadlock.

“Both SMC and Telstra worked hard to come up with an acceptable resolution to some issues,” he was quoted saying. “However, we agreed we can no longer continue with the talks. I believe this is best for all parties.”

He added that Telstra had offered to continue providing technical work design and construction consultancy services to the company.

Telstra was unavailable for comment.