Press Release
August 3, 2011

"Sustaining the Lead, Expanding Opportunities"
International Contact Center Conference and Expo 2011 and the
10th Anniversary of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines

Senator Edgardo J. Angara
Keynote Speaker

The Philippines pulled off the unthinkable when we eclipsed India as the number contact center hotspot in the world last year. Now, we are the toast of the global business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, thanks in part to the tireless efforts of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP).

You know better than I do that this was no mean feat considering that India's BPO sector was already much developed by the time we launched ours.

Now, our IT-BPO sector is one of our fastest growing sectors, if not the fastest, even defying the global economic crisis from 2008 to 2009.

Based on available data, the IT-BPO sector has grown by more than 500 percent in terms revenues and 400 percent in jobs in less than a decade. From 2004 to 2010, it averaged growth of 39 percent for revenues and 33 percent for employment.

Call centers raked in US$5.7 billion last year, more than India's US$5.58 billion income from pure voice-based services. On the whole, the IT-BPO sector generated US$9 billion and 530,000 jobs. Back in 2004, these figures only amounted to US$1.3 billion in revenues and 101,000 in employment.

This is nothing short of phenomenal, and a lot of it can be attributed to the voice-based segment which accounts for 70 percent of the entire industry. Without a doubt, the IT-BPO industry is a major driving force of our country's present economic growth, and most importantly its future growth. In fact, experts believe that the industry can generate as much as US$50 billion by 2020. Meanwhile, the industry forecasts expansion to US$26 billion in revenues and 1.3 million in employees by 2016 World Bank analysis provides further proof. Because of our comparative advantages in the IT-BPO services, the industry has captured 15 percent of the global market so far and contributed 4.5 percent to the country's gross domestic product.

It has the potential to fuel more rapid growth through services export. Through the decade 1999 to 2009, the country's services exports climbed by a yearly average of 3.6 percent, more than double the average for Asia of 1.5 percent.

In effect, the Philippines has become a net exporter of services since 2006, a unique characteristic for developing countries. Additionally, this provides the country an opportunity to diversify its traditional exports of semiconductors, electronics and agricultural products.

The industry is also drawing much needed foreign direct investments (FDI). According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, equity investment in the IT-BPO industry in 2009 grew by 32.2 percent to US$2.6 billion, of which 91.8 percent was made up of foreign equity.

To ensure the continued growth of the IT-BPO industry, especially the contact center segment, I am personally pursuing measures that will help bolster investor confidence.

First is through the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which I authored and have sponsored on the floor during this Congress. This will protect 30 million Filipino Internet users from misuse and abuse arising from fraud, theft, hacking, child pornography and cyber prostitution, and make electronic transactions more secure.

The Data Privacy Act is especially crucial to the future of the industry. We are very careful to ensure that this will improve the security and confidentiality of personal information gathered by IT-BPO companies, as well as provide safeguards for their collection, use and transmission without constraining the industry's growth.

Finally, I am also sponsoring a bill that will create a Department of Information and Communications Technology. This will ensure that there is an agency dedicated to address the needs and concerns of all ICT stakeholders in a responsive and timely manner and ensure their sustainable development.

I call on you to continue supporting these measures and engaging us policymakers in productive dialogue.

We are on the threshold of fulfilling our country's development potential and the IT-BPO will play a huge part in it. I congratulate you for the past 10 outstanding years. I am certain that you will remain willing and ready to rise to the challenge of the coming decade - a watershed not only for your organization, but also for the country.


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