Philippines aims to be health information management destination hub for Asia Pacific

Dr. Rafaelita “Fita” M. Aldaba, Undersecretary for the Competitiveness and Innovation Group of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) explains the new industry policy of the Philippines. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya

BPO industry continues to perform well, expects 1.7 million direct jobs by year end

Philippine government officials and industry leaders from the IT-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) and Healthcare Information Management Services (HIMS) sectors held a business forum last week at the Philippine Center to share updates on the Philippine economy, the state of the country’s ICT industry as well as opportunities in the industry.

Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba discussed the new industrial policy of the Philippines, which aims to grow globally competitive and innovative industries, build a more dynamic industry ecosystem and pursue regional development through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Aldaba said economic forecasts predict that the Philippines will become a 1 trillion economy by 2034, joining the ranks of China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. She highlighted the economic performance of the country, which expanded by 7.6% in 2022. The country’s economic performance has been posting a growth rate of over 6% in the last 10 years before the pandemic.

The undersecretary also focused on the potential for investment in HIMS in the Philippines.

The country aims to become the HIMS destination hub for the Asia Pacific region, with the adoption of automation, new technologies, and highly skilled workers. The country’s capabilities in HIM, combined with a favorable investment climate and government support, make it an attractive destination for investors.

“Our vision is to make the Philippines the Health Information Management destination hub for Asia Pacific,” Aldaba shared. “We aim to grow globally competitive and innovative industries and build a more dynamic industry ecosystem through our new science, technology, and innovation-driven industrial strategy.”

Ready for global challenges

Jack Madrid, president and chief executive officer of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said that the country is a preferred destination for global business partners due to its resilience and the ability to generate a significant number of jobs for the economy. AJPress Photo by Momar G. Visaya

Jack Madrid, president and chief executive officer of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) presented the success of the industry in the Philippines. He said that the country is a preferred destination for global business partners due to its resilience and the ability to generate a significant number of jobs for the economy.

The industry has shown impressive growth in both headcount and revenue, with 70% of its business coming from North America.

The United States continues to be the largest market for the IT-BPM sector, according to Madrid.

The industry has grown to 1.6 million Filipino employees in the country over two decades ago and hopes to add 1.1 million more in just six years or by the end of 2028, based stated in its roadmap.

“Our industry has shown much resilience through the past decade, regardless of global recessions, natural disasters, and even a most unexpected pandemic,” Madrid said. “The bedrock of the growth of this industry has been the Filipino talent, and in the case of the healthcare information management industry, that bedrock is our large number of U.S. registered nurses and medical professionals.”

Despite facing global challenges, the industry has continued to grow.

During the pandemic, the industry quickly transitioned to a work-from-home setup, mobilizing over 1 million employees, with no dip in productivity or customer satisfaction ratings. Madrid emphasized that the success of the industry is due to the talented Filipino workforce, particularly in the healthcare information management industry, where there is a large number of U.S. registered nurses and medical professionals.

“Our industry has diversified and evolved towards much higher value functions, showing the ability of the Filipino workforce to take on complex and specialized roles,” Madrid explained. “The Filipino workforce has proven to be resilient and adaptable, continuously upskilling and reskilling to meet the evolving demands of the global market.”

In his opening remarks, Consul General Senen Mangalile welcomed the attendees and highlighted the purpose of the event, which was to showcase the Philippines as the premier investment destination. He emphasized that the Philippines is one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, with a continuously improving rating for ease of doing business.

“The Philippines is the premier investment destination in our part of the world,” Mangalile said. “There is so much that the Philippines has to offer which in more ways than we currently imagined could be game-changing for you and your business.”

Consul General Mangalile encouraged the attendees to explore the industries that the Philippines has to offer, particularly in healthcare information management services, which can provide top-notch quality patient care.

The Philippines is still a preferred destination for global business partners, with 70% of the industry’s business coming from North America, according to Madrid. However, there is a challenge of talent supply not meeting demand, which is crucial to maintain the industry’s growth

The IT-BPM industry’s roadmap for 2028 aims to deliver one million additional direct jobs and grow the industry to a total of 2.5 million direct jobs by 2028, generating close to 60 billion in revenue.

Momar G. Visaya

Momar G. Visaya is the Executive Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach him at [email protected].

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