Philippines: IT-BPM sector acknowledges growing competition from gig economy

The information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) sector is recognizing the rising influence of the gig economy, with industry leaders acknowledging the freelancing sector as a formidable competitor.

In an interview with BusinessWorld, Jack Madrid, President of the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), highlighted the need for the industry to accept the gig economy as a challenge rather than try to impede its growth.

Madrid attributed the surge in freelancing to the pandemic and the newfound ability to work from home.

He emphasized that business process outsourcing (BPO) companies must come to terms with the fact that the gig economy poses a competitive threat.

He acknowledged the difficulties in regulating unregistered freelance companies, stating that some individuals prefer the flexibility and convenience of working outside traditional office environments. Madrid recognized this evolving landscape as the “new world of work.”

According to Payoneer, a financial technology company, global demand for freelancers has significantly increased. The report cited the 2023 Global Freelancer Insights Reports, highlighting the growing demand for freelancers in fields such as programming, marketing, project management, and web design.

Monique Avila, Payoneer Country Manager for the Philippines, stated that businesses are increasingly relying on freelancers to support their full-time workforce due to the convenience, flexibility, and high-quality work they provide.

Madrid further emphasized that potential investors should recognize the gig economy as a competitor to the IT-BPM industry. He urged investors to weigh the pros and cons of supporting unregistered companies.

While acknowledging the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) support for freelancing, Madrid stressed the importance of understanding the potential risks associated with working for unregistered entities.

The IBPAP aims to reach 1.7 million full-time employees (FTEs) and generate $35.9 billion in revenues this year, surpassing the figures recorded in the previous year.

Madrid’s comments reflect the industry’s need to adapt to the changing dynamics of the labor market, acknowledging the gig economy’s impact while striving for continued growth. –

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