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IBPAP sees BPO growth slowing in the run-up to 2022

The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector is slowing down leading to 2022 as a result of strong expansion in previous years, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said Wednesday.

"Given that we already have this much scale and further leading to maturity, the growth leading to 2022 is slower," IBPAP President and CEO Rey Untal told reporters in a press conference in Makati City.

"It probably was in the mid-teens at 15 percent, 16 percent. When we forecasted it for the most recent roadmap, we projected growth—revenue-wise—to be around 9 percent, headcount-wise to be about 8 percent," he said.

The BPO sector is one of the major drivers of the Philippine economy, together with the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. According to the Oxford Business Group, the triumvirate will continue to drive the economy this year.

Untal noted the BPO sector is unfazed by threats of protectionism that could keep companies from outsourcing jobs overseas.

"At  least, what I am observing, is that a good majority of our incumbents—meaning our local big players which are primarily locators from different countries—they are registering good growth," he said.

"We also have a few prominent new locators. Hopefully, within the next month or so, I will be given the green light [to make an announcement]. But certainly growth is something we are seeing in the industry," he added.

Last year, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinugundo said the protectionist policy of US President Donald Trump could potentially affect the outsourcing industry.

Convergys Corp. earlier said the Philippines continued to receive outsourced jobs from overseas, and the protectionist environment has not really impacted the business. — VDS, GMA News