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Tax perks to counter headwinds in IT-BPO sector: industry group

The Information Technology-Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) bats for the retention of incentives for the IT-business process management (IT-BPM) sector to counter headwinds faced by the industry.

In a statement, IBPAP president and chief executive officer Rey Untal expressed the group's support to lawmakers who push to keep incentives for the IT-BPO sector for the industry to further expand.

"The industry has been facing a number of headwinds, which appear to have a dampening effect on IT-BPM investments during the first half of 2017," Untal said.

In the first 10 months of the year, IT-BPO project registration at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) declined by 8.4 percent to PHP15.73 billion from PHP14.4 billion in the same period last year.

"Sustaining an attractive business environment through industry and government partnership is critical in overcoming industry challenges," he added.

The IBPAP chief noted that the industry is seen to be in the "infancy period" again with the advancements in technology brought by digital transformation and disruption.

"The IT-BPM industry continues to be a sunrise industry. There is much to be done on the horizon not only for our industry, but other sectors as well, to nurture the economic growth of the nation," said Untal.

Untal stressed that the IT-BPM sector has played a significant role in job creation, expanding the middle class, and helped in poverty alleviation.

In 2016, employment in the IT-BPM sector reached 1.2 million and revenues amounted to USD22 billion.

"These incentives have also helped various IT-BPM subsectors grow, allowing for more diverse services and job opportunities for the Filipino people," Untal said.

"This has been proven over the past decade where transformation of cities throughout the country into IT parks and IT-BPM hubs have improved the quality of life for entire communities, allowing them to earn more, spend more and remain in the country to raise their families," he added.

Untal reiterated the need to sustain incentives for the IT-BPM sector for the Philippines to be more competitive as a global investment hub for IT-BPM companies.

Kris Crismundo / PNA