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IT-BPM industry slashes growth forecast


 IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal, and IBPAP executive director for external affairs and investor relations Nicki Agcaoili.
IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal, left, and IBPAP executive director for external affairs and investor relations Nicki Agcaoili hold a press conference on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 regarding various factors affecting the industry. Jon Viktor Cabuenas, GMA News

The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) on Tuesday said it now expects industry growth at a slower pace than previously announced due to a various factors from the global slowdown to uncertainties in policies that the government plans to implement.

According to IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal, the group has recalibrated its Roadmap 2022 figures—it now expects industry revenue to come in at $29 billion to $32 billion, down nearly $10 billion from the previous forecast of $38.9 billion.

It now expects headcount somewhere between 1.42 million and 1.57 million by 2022, from previous expectations of 1.8 million.

The revised numbers were recalibrated by the Everest Group, a US-based management consulting and research firm.

Untal said the revisions were in line with the induystry’s global growth, as well as the slower-than-expected growth of a little over 2% in 2017 and 5.1% in 2018.

“Also, some uncertainty in policy-shaping is causing some concerns,” he told reporters in a press conference in Parañaque City.

Untal in September said the information technology-business process management (IT-BPM) sector growth could be halved, should lawmakers pass the second phase of the comprehensive tax reform program in its current form.

“We are looking at 40%, 50% reduction ng growth ... Whatever that growth trajectory is, it stands to be diminished by close to half,” Untal said back then.

The Corporate Income Tax and Incentive Rationalization Act (CITIRA) bill, formerly the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-Quality Opportunities (TRABAHO), seeks to gradually reduce the corporate income tax (CIT) rates to 20% from 30%.

It aims to make tax perks time-bound, transparent, targeted, and performance-based for a more competitive fiscal incentives system.

As proposed by the Department of Finance (DOF), some 123 laws will be repealed and consolidated into one omnibus incentive code.

Untal said the industry will have to keep up with upskilling and reskilling of the workforce to ensure that the industry would achieve at least the lower end of the figures unveiled in the newly-revised roadmap.

“That’s the primary area of discussion that we will shift into. A lot of the huge companies have already been doing this. We need to up the ante in terms of the industry academe playbook, the different partnership models,” he said, noting that more partnerships with the academe will improve the skills workers.

“Talent upskilling and reskilling is going to be front and center of our agenda a lot more now than before,” Untal noted. —VDS, GMA News