Press Release
September 14, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara took the floor today to call for the urgent passage of the measure creating a Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), with Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry in full attendance in a strong demonstration of support.

"Half a decade ago, we already realized the need for a dedicated agency to plan the country's strategic ICT development and direction as the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry was taking off.

"Yet until now we are still without one--hence we remain unable to seize the huge opportunities of the fast evolving digital age," said Angara, principal author of the proposed measure seeking to create the DICT, together with Senators Loren Legarda and Manuel Villar.

Key officials of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFCP) and Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) came in full force to the Senate today to back the measure.

They were led by Atty. Jocelle Batapa, NICP President; Martin Crisostomo, BPAP Executive Director; Jeffrey Woodruff, American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Executive Director; John Forbes, AMCHAM Senior Advisor for Investment Climate Improvement; and Don Felbaum, AMCHAM Chairman of the Information and Communications Technology Committee.

Last year, the IT-BPO industry made record revenues of US$9 billion and created 525,000 direct jobs, as well as 1.312 million more jobs in ancillary industries. This marks a phenomenal growth over six years, from only $1.3 billion in revenues and 101,000 employees in 2004.

The country earned $5.7 billion last year in pure voice-based services alone, besting India as the top contact center hotspot in the world.

The BPAP believes the industry can sustain this growth through 2016 when revenues are expected to shoot up to $26 billion and the workforce increase to 1.3 million. A World Bank analysis shows that the industry can generate as much as US$50 billion by 2020. This will be possible through aggressive expansion into higher value, non-voice BPO services such as medical transcription, engineering services, IT and software development and creative media.

"The fast growing economies of Southeast Asia have a ministry or department dedicated to ICT, especially its impact on the growth of business and investments. We are in league with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Timor-Leste for having none," said Angara. "This speaks volumes of our weakening national competitiveness."

Angara noted that the DICT bill was nearly passed during the Fourteenth Congress.

"If we had, we would now have a working framework for e-governance initiatives and applications, especially on universal healthcare, precision farming, disaster risk reduction, e-learning, combatting cybercrime and business regulation," said Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE).

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