January 17, 2012
PUSH FOR HIGH-VALUE SERVICES, ANGARA URGES IT-BPO SECTOR
Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed his call for the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector to provide for more high-value services as the Obama administration recently vowed to support an anti-outsourcing bill pending in the United States legislature.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz recently told the press that while the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is closely monitoring developments in the U.S., the proposed measure does not immediately pose a threat to the Philippine IT-BPO industry, which is comprised mostly of call centers.
Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted that around 70 percent of IT-BPO companies in the country rely heavily on U.S.-based clients.
"Many would downplay the urgency of this matter by claiming that support for the bill from the Obama administration is just election-related," said Angara. "Still, the IT-BPO industry in the country should start moving up the value-chain as a way to maintain competitiveness. Whether the bill gets passed or not, all stakeholders must collaborate to ensure that the prospects of this sunshine industry are kept steadily bright."
Angara, who is also Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), cited a 2011 report from the Business Software Alliance (BSA) showing that the Philippines, alongside the entire Asia-Pacific region, has good potential to become the world's computing hub.
"Mobile Internet, cloud computing and software as a service applications are said to represent the next wave of technologies that are set to change significant aspects of our lives," explained the veteran lawmaker. "If the IT-BPO industry builds on their capacity in these areas and other high-value processes, then we assure that the Philippines remains an attractive destination for IT-heavy services."
Angara noted that COMSTE has advocated for the formation of public-private partnerships--dubbed innovation clusters--among government, academe and the industry in conducting R&D for ICT in cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS). Around P60 million in the 2012 budget has been allocated for this initiative.
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