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The Philippines’ IT-BPO Services Industry Continues to Post Strong Growth in 2010


The Philippine Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry sustained robust growth in 2010 amid uncertainties in the global economy, according to the Survey on IT-BPO Services conducted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Total revenue of the industry in 2010 was estimated at US$10.1 billion, higher by 21.8 percent than the US$8.3 billion revenues posted in 2009. This rise in revenue was, however, lower than the 30.6 percent expansion recorded in 2009.

Growth was observed across sub-sectors, namely, contact center, transcription, animation, software development and other BPOs. Contact centers, which accounted for 52.3 percent of the industry’s receipts, remained the key driver, contributing 12.8 percentage points to the total industry growth. In 2010, the country took the lead as the contact center capital of the world, outperforming India in terms of revenues and employment generation.  Other major contributors to the industry’s growth were software development  and other BPOs.     

IT-BPO exports in 2010 were also very strong.  The level reached US$9.5 billion, an expansion of 22.7 percent from the US$7.7 billion posted in 2009. Exports earnings comprised 94.2 percent of the industry’s total revenues in 2010, higher than the 93.4 percent export-to-revenue ratio in 2009. The continued rise of IT-BPO exports reflected the strengthening of global demand for shared services and business process outsourcing. A marked improvement in the export-to-revenue ratio of contact centers was observed, from 93.6 percent in 2009 to 97.4 percent in 2010. 

The strong performance of the IT-BPO industry was supported by high equity investments, reaching US$4.4 billion as of end-2010, of which 97.6 percent (or US$4.3 billion) represented foreign equity participation. Acquisitions by foreign investors and expansions of foreign firms were extensive in all sub-sectors of the industry. 

As a result of brisk IT-BPO business, employment expanded, reaching 536,128 in 2010.  Contact centers remained the top employer, accounting for 61.5 percent of the employment in IT-BPO services. This was followed by other BPOs at 26.9 percent. On the other hand, total compensation paid by the industry amounted to US$4.5 billion, up by 31.7 percent from the US$3.4 billion recorded in 2009. Annual average compensation per employee increased by 9.3 percent to US$8,398 (or P378,824) from the previous year’s US$7,686 (or P366,122). 1 

The survey coverage was expanded to 811 IT-BPO companies in 2010 from 736 in 2009. The overall response rate was 60.7 percent. Survey respondents included companies engaged in the operations of call centers, medical and legal transcription, animation, software development and other business process outsourcing (BPO). These companies are members of the various IT-BPO associations and companies registered with attached agencies of the Department of Trade and Industry, namely, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and the Board of Investments.


1  Average exchange rate used was Php45.1097/US$1 for 2010.

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