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Statement by IT-BPO Industry Associations on Executive Order 47 and the Department of ICT Bill

The undersigned associations, representing the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, have always worked closely with the Philippine government and its key agencies, such as the Department of Trade & Industry and its attached agencies (e.g. the Board of Investments, and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority), the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the Technical Education & Skills Development Authority and the Department of Finance  to ensure the sustained rapid development of the IT-BPO industry and the creation of high-paying, value-added jobs for Filipinos.

We have also worked very closely with the Commission on Information & Communications Technology (CICT), which has been one of our industry’s staunchest supporters and has sponsored and funded many of our key initiatives, including our IT-BPO Road Map 2011-2016, which charts the course for our industry’s growth from $8.9 billion in revenues and 525,000 employees in 2010 to a target of $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million in 2016. It has also been our partner in our Next Wave Cities strategy to attract IT-BPO investment to provincial areas of the Philippines where jobs are desperately needed, and has organized regional ICT councils to empower local governments and enhance regional cities’ ability to draw industry locators.

We were therefore surprised when we learned of Executive Order 47 (EO 47), a presidential directive which renamed CICT as the Information and Communications Technology Office  (ICTO), placed it under the supervision of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), reoriented its functions, and directed that it be headed by a still-to-be named Executive Director with the rank of an undersecretary, instead of its current Chairman, Secretary Ivan Uy, who has the rank of cabinet secretary and has been very effective as an advocate of our industry.

We were disappointed that EO 47 was issued without the benefit of extensive stakeholder consultation, as we believe that this would have been highly beneficial to the development and execution of public policy on the key ICT sector.

We call upon our government to engage in deeper collaborative dialogue with all stakeholders before undertaking further major reforms that critically affect our sector. Unless we strengthen our Public-Private Partnership with the government, we will have great difficulty achieving our goal of generating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in the next few years.

We are pleased and encouraged that DOST Secretary Mario Montejo has made the commitment that the ICTO will continue to support the initiatives the IT-BPO industry developed with CICT. We encourage him to involve individuals with deep experience with our industry in the leadership of the ICTO, including those from CICT. We also call on him to further clarify to all stakeholders his plans for the ICTO, particularly with regards to the Philippine Digital Strategy, which CICT launched last month after extensive consultation with, and support from, our industry and other stakeholders. For our part, we will continue to work closely with government, including DOST and ICTO, to achieve the industry’s full potential.

Finally, we believe that the ICT sector is so critical to enhancing our national competitiveness and accelerating economic development that it merits even greater focus from the government, and the creation of a full department of government. Accordingly, we are continuing our long-standing support for the Department on ICT (DICT) Bill, whose authors are led by Senate Science and Technology Committee Chair Sen. Edgardo Angara and House ICT Committee Chairman Cong. Freddie Tinga. We believe that further elevating the government’s prioritization of the ICT sector through the creation of a DICT will increase the ability of ICT to ensure the success not just of the IT-BPO industry, but of the entire nation.

Signed by:

Animation Council of the Philippines, Inc. (ACPI)
Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP)
Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP)
Game Development Association of the Philippines (GDAP)
Health Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP)
Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA)

Statement by IT-BPO Industry Associations on Executive Order 47 and the Department of ICT Bill