Philippines Targets AI Integration in BPO with Horizon Philippines Initiative

The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has teamed up with Silicon Valley’s venture capital provider Plug and Play to future-proof the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and electronics assembly sector against the challenges posed by artificial intelligence (AI).

DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy and Plug and Play co-founder Jojo Flores have signed an agreement to initiate the Horizon Philippines Program, focusing on creating a resilient strategy for these industries.

This program will establish a virtual platform facilitating collaboration between startups and investors, fostering the growth of an intellectual property (IP)-based economy. A key objective is integrating AI into the IT-BPO industry, a sector contributing 25 percent to the Philippines’ GDP and significantly bolstering employment, technological innovation, and economic growth.

The Horizon Philippines Program aims to accelerate protection of the BPO industry from AI threats, with potential job losses in this $35 million industry. The initiative will encourage local talents to develop IP-based products, which can be introduced locally and globally, securing the future of the country’s service economy.

In terms of funding, the program will rely on foreign direct investments and international investors, beyond government funds. The Philippine government will support the ecosystem without direct financial obligations, leveraging Plug and Play’s experience in managing startup ecosystems. This collaboration intends to attract investment by promoting the Philippine startup story globally. –