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Local IT-BPO Service Industry Continues to Contribute to Economic Growth in 2009


Results of the 2009 Survey of Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) Services1  conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 2010 showed that the IT-BPO service industry continued to provide sound support to the economy, despite the challenges posed by the nascent stages of global economic recovery in 2009. Total revenues of the industry in 2009 were estimated at US$8.3 billion, higher by 30.6 percent than the US$6.3 billion receipts reported in 2008. While the growth rate recorded in 2009 may be a slowdown from those of previous years, it is still robust compared with that of other industries in the country.2

All IT-BPO sub-sectors (namely, contact center, transcription, animation, software development and other BPOs) posted double-digit growth rates in revenues in 2009. Contact Centers, which accounted for half (50.9 percent) of the industry's receipts, were the main driver, contributing two-thirds (21.6 percentage points) to the industry's growth. Transcription and Animation Services also posted dynamic growth amid the expansion of transcription companies and the production of more local animation films in the country.

IT-BPO exports increased by 45.9 percent to reach US$7.7 billion in 2009, from the US$5.3 billion level recorded in 2008. Export earnings comprised 93.4 percent of total industry revenues, an increase from the previous year's 83.6 percent export-to-revenue ratio. Except for the Animation sub-sector, all other sub-sectors recorded higher export-to-revenue ratios, with the highest at 96.1 percent for Transcription.

As of end-2009, equity investments in the industry grew by 32.2 percent to US$2.6 billion, of which 91.8 percent represented foreign equity. The growth in equity investments slowed down, however, compared to 109.5 percent in 2008. Cautious investor sentiment due to uncertainties regarding the pace and breadth of global recovery in 2009 could have contributed to the slower growth.

Employment in the IT-BPO industry totaled 444,811 in 2009, representing a 25.3 percent growth from the 2008 level. Contact Centers were the top employer, absorbing more than half (57.5 percent) of the industry's employment. Total compensation paid by the industry amounted to US$3.4 billion in 2009, up by 23.8 percent from the US$2.8 billion recorded in 2008. Annual average compensation per employee slightly dropped by 1.2 percent to US$7,686 (or about P366,122) in 2009 from US$7,778  (or about P370,504) in 2008.

The survey coverage was expanded to 736 IT-BPO  companies  in  2009 from 648 in 2008. Survey results were based on an overall response rate of 60.5 percent. Respondents included companies engaged in the operations of call centers, medical and legal transcription, animation, software development and other BPOs. These companies represented members of the different IT-BPO associations as well as those registered with attached agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry, namely, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the Board of Investments.


1 New name for IT and IT-Enabled Services Survey of the BSP 
2 Growth rates in revenues of different industries belonging to the top 5000 corporations sourced from the Philippines 25000 Corporations 2010 Edition of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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