ICTO holds first press briefing with guns blazing

For the first time since being constituted in July last year, the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) formally held its first press conference on Monday to present its plans and strategies for the local ICT industry.

ICTO chief Louis Casambre speaking at the podium while DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and BPAP chair Fred Ayala listen to his presentation

The country’s top ICT organizations, led by the trade umbrella group Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), were in full in force at the briefing held at the National Computer Center building in Quezon City.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo held court with BPAP chair Fred Ayala as top ICTO officials gave a presentation of the programs and roadmap which the government has prepared to maintain and strengthen the country’s ICT sector.

After dominating call center business, executives said the Philippines is now aiming to become one of the world leaders in four fast-growing offshoring and outsourcing areas: healthcare information management outsourcing, finance and accounting outsourcing, HR outsourcing, and creative process outsourcing.

The Philippines recently overtook India as the call center capital of the world, and in 2011 the IT-BPO industry contributed approximately $11 billion in export revenues, about 640,000 direct jobs, and approximately 1.5 million indirect jobs (e.g. construction and service jobs generated to serve the sector’s growth) to the Philippine economy.

ICTO Deputy Executive Director Alejandro Melchor said the country is also targeting to double its market share by 2016 in information technology outsourcing, engineering services outsourcing and multilingual BPO.

In 2011, revenues generated by the IT-BPO industry were equivalent to approximately 5 percent of the country’s GDP. The ICTO said it expects this figure to reach 8.6 percent by 2016.

Louis Casambre, executive director of the ICTO, said the agency intends to provide support for BPAP-ICTO partnership initiatives such as the Global Competitiveness Assessment Tool (GCAT), recruitment marketing, workforce core skills development, and roadmapping.

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