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PHL emerging as a strong software development hub

(Manila, Philippines, November 26, 2012) — The Philippines is a mature global location for offshore services, joining the ranks of China, Brazil, India, and Poland, according to a report by Everest Group. The Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) reported IT industry growth of 37 percent, total revenue of US$993 million, and an increase in manpower by nearly 50,000 full-time employees in 2011. These figures show that the software industry is among the fastest-growing outsourcing sectors in the Philippines today.

During a panel discussion moderated by Nora Terrado, PSIA president, at the 2012 International Outsourcing Summit, industry players and software experts all agree that the Philippine software industry is evolving and has got what it takes to unleash the Philippines’ full potential.

“The country has top-caliber talents that are ready to create a start-up ecosystem,” said Earl Martin Valencia, president and co-founder of IdeaSpace Foundation. “We should start promoting and supporting technopreneurship and tech boot camps as these are where it can all begin. The emerging software start-up scene is a sign of big things to come for the Philippine software industry.”

A study by Internet World Stats showed that Internet growth in the Philippines increased from 2,000 in 2000 to 29,700,000 in 2010. “The Philippines is a really good source of software development. We can create and test them here then launch elsewhere. The Filipino cultural trains make our workforce ideal for software-related services,” said Joey Gurango, founder and managing director of Gurango Software. Gurango believes that the Philippines can also be better consumers of software technology in addition to being better software producer.

With all these prospects and developments, the software industry is not without challenges to face. It still needs to address issues in education, including going back to the basics of nurturing the students’ curiosity and passion to learn. “Software is science,” said Dado Banatao, managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital and a Silicon Valley visionary. “We need to deepen the students’ foundation in science and technology because it helps them learn how to innovate better.” Banatao believes that the lack of computer engineers with post-graduate degrees in the Philippines is holding back the further development of the country’s information technology industry, which has the potential to contribute billions of dollars to the local economy.

Microsoft Philippines director of Developer Evangelism Alvin Gendrano agrees. “Software was where the world was headed years ago, and it still is today. To accelerate, our country needs to have 200,000 people employed from the current 50,000; and a growth rate of at least 16.6 percent annually,” he said. According to Gendrano, salaries should be competitive to increase employment and discourage computer science and IT graduates from working abroad.

For Morphlabs co-founder and chief executive officer Winston Damarillo, the Philippine software industry needs all the support it can get to push forward. “We need a truly operating public-private sector partnership to set momentum for high growth in the IT industry in the country,” he said. Damarillo asserts that the software industry is still underperforming and so we can still set our goals high and achieve it by putting the right ingredients for investments, technopreneurship and collaboration.

About BPAP
The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is the umbrella association for the IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Center) industry in the Philippines. BPAP serves as the one-stop information and advocacy gateway for the industry. With approximately 300 industry and support-industry members, including five associations—Animation Council of the Philippines, Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Game Developers Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines, and Philippine Software Industry Association—BPAP plays a pivotal role in sustaining rapid growth of the IT-BPO and GIC industry by working to ensure an enduring supply of high quality labor, supporting service innovation, and providing country visibility.

BPAP assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines. Relevant research, introductions to key government and industry officials, and a series of briefings at each step of the investment process ensure a seamless development process. On-going support is provided through a wide variety of initiatives, including programs for HR development, business development, and on-going knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

About the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA)
The Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) is the unifying organization of at least 150 companies in the country engaged in software development and IT outsourcing services. A non-stock, non-profit entity, it operates by its twin goals of branding/marketing and capability development. It promotes the growth and global competitiveness of the Philippine software industry.