ICT in the Philippines during the Aquino Administration (part 2)

by Koree S. Monteloyola

 

Senate Bill No. 2546: DICT Act of 2008

On August 14, 2008, a senate bill was prepared and submitted jointly by the Committee(s) on science and technology, civil service and government reorganization and finance with senator(s) Jinggoy P. Ejercito-Estrada, Loren B. Legarda and Edgardo J. Angara as author(s) per committee report no. 93,  Recommending its approval in substitution of SBNos. 320 and 920.;6 Senate Bill 2546 is an act creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), defining its powers and functions, appropriating funds therefore, and for other purposes.6

The primary purpose of this department would be to improve ICT infrastructure in the country. It would pull various communications related offices in the Office of the President and DOTC.7 Issues in Information Technology such as intellectual property rights, human resources, data protection, security, and quality management and standards would be addressed by this department. Majority of the IT industry is hoping that the bill would be approved and signed. The bill is still pending as of writing.

But President Aquino, who was still running for presidency at that time, already rejected this proposal. In an article published in Philippine Daily Inquirer (online) on February 2010, the president said that a government agency that focuses on ICT only plays a supportive role, and stated:

“Ang problema lang, ang paniwala namin napakarami na tayong mga offices [and] officers who are not actually doing something useful (We think the government already has too many offices [and] officers who are not actually doing something useful),"8

Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP)9

BPAP was founded in 2004, and is supported by many stakeholders. They include the Philippine government, Philippine and foreign chambers of commerce, and allied industries such as property, telecommunications, and employee benefits. Its mission and vision as stated in their website are the following:

Mission: Promote the competitive advantages and the growth potential of the Philippines in existing and new areas of outsourcing and support the industry in areas such as offshore marketing, education and training, security and privacy, legislation and public policy, among others.10

Vision: To make the Philippines the number one destination for voice and non-voice services worldwide.10

BPAP has been a strong (if not, the strongest) private sector ally or partner of the Philippine government. Many believed that in order for an ICT roadmap to be successfully formulated and implemented there must be a good partnership between the government and private sectors in a country. BPAP with CICT created the Philippine ICT Roadmap in 2010.7

Current State of  ICT in the Philippines

According to a research made by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise in February 2012, the value of the ICT market in the Philippines is estimated to $37 billion USD. 30% of the total ICT sales came from Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sales.11

Estimated size of ICT markets in the Philippines in USD million

Sub sectors

2011

Business process outsourcing

11,000

Telecommunications

4,500

Computer hardware

1,900

Software

331

Source: Business Monitor International and IDC11

Furthermore, the study gives a list of the most common offshore outsourcing activities in the Philippines which are: 

  • contact or call centre outsourcing
  • software development outsourcing 
  • web and graphic design outsourcing 
  • animation outsourcing
  • game development outsourcing 
  • online marketing - SEO and SEM outsourcing 
  • engineering design and architecture outsourcing 
  • medical transcription outsourcing legal transcription outsourcing
  • finance and accounting outsourcing 
  • human resources administration outsourcing

It is also stated in the paper that even though BPOs in the Philippines have high ICT spending, the local industry continues to have low consumption of ICT products. In simple terms, foreign demands for BPOs in the Philippines are high but local demands are low.

In 2011, it was reported that the Philippines have overtaken India, as the world’s number one country for BPO and shared services. Consequently, several India-based call centres and BPOs are relocating to the Philippines. Like Wipro Technologies, which is an outsourcing company headquartered in India, and has an approximate of 2,000 employees.11

Researcher Peter Evans gave the key highlights of a summary of this report about the Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts in the Philippines published on June 2012.12

  • Growth in mobile subscribers in the Philippines has slowed considerably by 2012 but had still managed to grow by 16% in 2010 followed by 9% in 2011;
  • Growth in 2012 was likely to be less than 10%;
  • Mobile penetration had passed the 100% milestone;
  • Although the SMS market has peaked, Filipinos were still sending almost two billion SMS messages every day by early 2012;
  • The country remained a global leader in SMS volumes and usage levels;
  • In the meantime, Social networking websites were becoming increasingly popular and changing the shape of the telecoms market;
  • Broadband Internet access in the Philippines had witnessed a five year surge in subscriber growth;
  • There were an estimated seven million broadband subscribers by end-2011; however, this still only represented around 7% of the population;
  • The fixed-line market had lost direction, with no growth expected in the short term;
  • The Philippine telecom sector continues to be an important element in the local economy, contributing over 10% to the country’s GDP.

Continue Reading:

  1. ICT in the Philippines during the Aquino Administration (part 1)
  2. ICT in the Philippines during the Aquino Administration (part 2)
  3. ICT in the Philippines during the Aquino Administration (part 3)
  4. ICT in the Philippines during the Aquino Administration (part 4)

Sources:

  1.  Philippine ICT after GMA; Roberto R. Romulo; http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=472245&publicationSubCategoryId=66
  2. Commission on Information and Communications Technology(CICT) Website; http://www.cict.gov.ph/
  3.  About CICT; http://www.cict.gov.ph/content/view/45/82/index.html
  4. Executive Order No. 47, s. 2011; http://www.gov.ph/2011/06/23/executive-order-no-47/
  5. DoST assures ICT sector of full support; http://business.inquirer.net/6014/dost-assures-ict-sector-of-full-support
  6.  Senate Bill No. 2546DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY ACT OF 2008; http://www.senate.gov.ph/lis/bill_res.aspx?congress=14&q=SBN-2546
  7. Department of ICT: Enabling Progress in the Philippine BPO Industry; http://www.openaccessmarketing.com/blog/2010/01/21/department-of-ict-enabling-progress-in-the-philippine-bpo-industry/
  8. Noynoy rejects proposed creation of infotech dept.; http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/184670/news/nation/noynoy-rejects-proposed-creation-of-infotech-dept
  9. Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP); http://www.bpap.org
  10. BPAP Mission and Vision; http://www.bpap.org/about-us/mission-vision
  11. ICT in the Philippines; http://www.nzte.govt.nz/explore-export-markets/market-research-by-industry/Information-and-communication-technologies/Documents/ICT%20Market%20Profile%20Philippines%20Feb%202012.pdf
  12. Philippines - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts; http://www.budde.com.au/Research/Philippines-Telecoms-Mobile-Broadband-and-Forecasts.html
  13. BPO Road Map 2011 – 2016; http://www.bpap.org/about-us/it-bpo-road-map-2011-2016
  14. IT - BPO Road Map 2011 - 2016; www.bpap.org/about-us/it-bpo-road-map-2011-2016
  15. MIC Announces the Outline of Digital Japan Creation Project (ICT Hatoyama Plan); www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/joho_tsusin/eng/Releases/NewsLetter/Vol20/Vol20_01/Vol20_01.html
  16. Realising the iN2015 Vision; www.ida.gov.sg/images/content/About%20us/About_Us_level1/_iN2015/pdf/realisingthevisionin2015.pdf
  17. O2P and BPA/P Periodic Survey #2Constraints to Growth; http://www.bpap.org/publications/research/quarterly-survey?download=55%3Aperiodic-survey-constraints-growth
Note: This is a case study that I submitted for my IS 272 course (Strategic in Info. Sys.Devt.) in UPOU, on Aug. 12, 2012, months before the cybercrime law was approved.
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