July 13, 2024

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) are gearing up for a strategic and industry-led partnership in attracting foreign direct investments in the country, which is an essential tool for the country’s growth and development.  
PEZA Director General Tereso O. Panga and his team have met with IBPAP President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Madrid and some of the IBPAP officials on March 27 to discuss areas for active collaboration and strategic alliance for the creation of plans on effective investment attraction and facilitation in line with the goals of PEZA, the industry, and the government. 
Aside from the concerns of the IT-BPO industry with infrastructure and the implementation of the work-from-home, Madrid highlighted their issue on talent. 
“We have a severe talent demand-supply gap which we need to address. Surely, we are a country with rich pool of talent and the result of that is many people want to continue to invest in the Philippines. But increasingly, the challenge is not the cost, it’s the people,” Madrid said. 
“We now live in a world where being able to work remotely is important. It’s also the reason of people who are over-concentrated in the Philippines. They are also beginning to diversify outside. But for many IBPAP members, we’re still their main handler, but the main message here is the mismatch and the supply and demand of talent,” he added. 
Panga said PEZA is cooperating with the ongoing initiative of USAID to prepare the Filipino workforce for the Industry 4.0. 
As of 2022, there are a total of 1,582 IT-BPM industry activities registered in PEZA which generated a total of P337.593 billion investments and 1,095,622 direct jobs. 
In 2022 alone, the IT-BPO sector has contributed about $17.005B of exports. 
For the first quarter of 2023, PEZA has approved six projects from the IT sector which is expected to bring P105.546 million investments, $8.932M exports, and 624 direct jobs. 
Through this collaboration, PEZA and IBPAP remain bullish to achieve both of its 10 percent target for the year and contribute to the overall growth and development of the industry and the country in general. 
Madrid is also eyeing more IT park developers and IT locator companies to expand operations in the provinces which constitute 40 percent of current total IT investments nationwide, and with Metro Manila still registering an annual uptake of 500,000 square meters of office spaces. 
Panga added, “As our strategy, we will venture into new IT investment opportunities and follow through the leads from Pres. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s state and working visits to other countries to promote Philippines as the smart destination in the region.” – Press release