NICP is the recognized national organization of ICT Councils in the Philippines. Our organization serves as the venue for collaboration and sharing of best practices for our member organizations. Through the years, our organization has served as the unified voice for the Philippine Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sector. We work tirelessly to promote ICT all throughout the country and support each of the councils endeavors in order to help strengthen the ICT in their areas and create more jobs for the Filipinos.
NICP Open Statement on the Proposed Reduction of Tax Incentives for ICT-Enabled Industries May 31, 2017
We, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Councils of our respective cities, provinces and regions from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao under the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines most respectfully appeal to His Excellency Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines and the 17th Congress of The Republic of the Philippines for the continuation, retention and expansion of current fiscal incentives of Information and Communications Technology - Business Process Management (ICT-BPM) companies in the Philippines in order to generate jobs and investments especially in the countryside, sustain the growth of the said industry, which accounts for the increase in the country's GDP along side OFW remittances, and achieve the current administration's target to ensure inclusive socio-economic growth.
The proposed tax reforms of the current administration are laudable especially insofar as increasing the net income of the middle class by reducing individual income tax base. But taxation is not only a means to generate revenues, it is also a tool to develop and grow industries that are relevant and sustainable especially in areas where there are less jobs and opportunities. Across the globe, developing countries use tax incentives as a means to attract direct foreign investments to solve unemployment, engage in technology transfer and intensify development of preferred industries.
Today, the Philippines is among the global leaders for ICT-enabled jobs, because of our very strong customer service culture, excellent English communication skills and high-level of digital literacy. But above all, from the countryside perspective, the Philippines has leveraged on the strength and potential of its non-metropolis locations or provinces which abound with talent. Seventy percent of the country's graduates are outside of Metro Manila and because of the attractive national tax incentives and the dynamism of provincial locations through its respective ICT councils, ICT-BPM companies have started to set up in Tier 2 and 3 cities, thereby creating the necessary jobs and investment opportunities. Real estate facilities such as ICT parks and centers accredited under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority has begun to flourish in the provinces and thus stimulating the real estate and allied businesses. Because of the thousands of jobs generated by these companies outside of Metro Manila, the growth of support services such as food, transportation, health services, housing and other ancillary services have all increased. The educational sector has been continuously upgrading its quality due to the global requirements. Filipino entrepreneurs have begun to set of up their own companies to also share in the ever increasing global demand for services and digital products. Many provinces have followed the lead of industry associations in creating ecosystems for high value ICT services such as animation, game development, health care information management, finance and accounting, software development, and many other complex segments.
By reducing or removing the current set of tax incentives for ICT-BPM companies - the most affected segment is the provincials locations which currently take advantage of national incentives under a centralized government structure.
Introducing VAT on BPO services could have very damaging repercussions for growth, expansion and sustainability of this industry in the countryside. The inevitable implication for BPO services will be an increase in cost, affecting employees current benefits, and any form of expansion and at worst, for them to explore low-cost economies for their BPO operations.
It is our most humble appeal that the government retain the current incentive package of the ICT-BPM industry and encourage their expansion in provincial location. In the alternative, we appeal that these companies be allowed tax deductions for any relevant talent development programs it will invest in to grow and ensure the quality of talent in the countryside.
We fully support the goal of the current administration to create jobs and investments for inclusive and together with the government, the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and all its member ICT councils vow to contribute ONE MILLION ICT JOBS by 2022 in the countryside.
National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP)
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue
Head, NICP Public Sector and Policy Committee
Stephanie Rosalind R. Caragos
Last March 3 and 4, Bohol hosted historic events to propel the island province of Bohol and the Visayas region into unparalleled progress. The 2 day event showcased what the industry could offer to the Filipinos in the provinces. The Visayas ICT councils also shared some of their best practices led by Stephanie Caragos, President of National ICT Councils of the Philippines (NICP) and CDO ICT Business Council. Stephanie presented the organization’s vision and thrusts for the Philippines and gave recognition to the Visayas cluster’s continuous collaboration and inspiring teamwork.
Different industry experts shared their insights on the different sectors of the Philippines ICT industry. There were talks tackling the Philippines IT BPM roadmap 2022, the importance of cybersecurity for businesses and government institutions, talent development strategies and what the government can do, specifically the Provincial Governement of Bohol to help Bohol become an ICT industry giant. bDan Reyes-president of the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines, Jonathan de Luzuriaga-president of the Philippine Software Industry Association, Penny Bongato-Talent Development Executive Director of IBPAP, Breyvan Tan-managing director of EC Council Singapore also shared their thoughts on how we can forward the IT industry in the Philippines which rakes in a whopping 22 biollion dollars of revenue employing around a million Filipinos not including the a million online freelancers in the Philippines during the 5th VICTOR Conference.
Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Chairman Danilo Sebastian Reyes especially highlted how Bohol and its different stakeholders, the community, the educators and the government, must work together to achieve its goals of becoming an innovation hub.
Bohol’s 1st Education Summit and the 3rd Visayas Creative Congress
During the 5th VICTOR conference, another forum tackling the convergence of the education and ICT sectors. The 1st Bohol Education Summit discussed the needs of both industries and how they can work together to achieve their respective goals.
Governor Edgar Chatto stated that the ICT industry is considered by the pronvicial government of Bohol as the third engine to fuel growth of the local economy after tourism and agriculture.
He fully emphasized his commitment to the turn Bohol into an IT-BPM investment haven by signing a commitment along with Usec. Monchito Ibrahim of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
Bohol ICT industry stakeholedrs also affixed their signatures and expressed their commitment in pursuing the IT-BPM industry specific 2017 Education Action Plan.
The education sector wasn’t the only industry that received much love during the 5th VICTOR conference.
The creative industry of Bohol also got the chance to hear from the best of the best in the Philippines creative landscape. Alvin Juban, the president of the Game Development Association of the Philippines or the “Emperor” as he is fondly called graced the 3rd Creative Congress with his presence sharing his insights on the game development industry in the Philippines. Other speakers were JD Abenaza — CEO of Zeenoh Games, John Dave Duenas — Manager of the Technology Business Incubator Center in Bacolod City, Xteve Abantor — Marvel artist and Creative Director of 13Headz Studios and UV New School founder, Genesis Rana.
Currently, the Philippines has around 650 plus IT BPM companies which contributes greatly to the Philippines’ economy.
Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue also launched the eGov Awards 2017 during the 5th VICTO Conference adding 3 more categories to encourage the government sector to take full advantage of technology to further enhance their services to their constituents.
The 5th VICTOR Conference, 1st Bohol Education Summit and 3rd Creative Congress was sponsored by: Bohol ICT Council, Provincial Government of Bohol, Tagbilaran City Government, National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), Bohol Investment Promotion Center, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Transcom, EC-Council and the Bohol Bloggers Collective.
Joanne Phillips, President of the Bohol ICT Council and Lai Biliran past president of the Bohol ICT Council both spearheaded the hosting of the 5th VICTOR Conference, Bohol’s 1st Education Summit and the 3rd Visayas Creative Congress.
Seven innovative local government units in the Philippines were recognized during the 5th Awards for Excellence in ICT for Good Governance for Local Government Units (Egov Awards) held in Tacloban City yesterday, November 11, 2016. They are the cities of Legazpi, Marikina, Valenzuela, Quezon, Tagum and San Fernando, La Union and the municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna.
Legazpi City’s Balangay: A Cloud Information System for Disaster tied with the Integrated Transport Management System of San Fernando, La Union for the first place in the Best in Customer Empowerment (G2C) Award.
The G2C category recognizes the measurable effect of an LGU’s outstanding practices using ICT solutions in the education and engagement of the public and in the use of electronic facilities and channels towards providing improved, timely and relevant delivery of public services.
The Marikina Business Portal topped the Best in Business Empowerment (G2B) Award which recognizes the significant effect of an LGU’s laudable practices in integrating ICT solutions and the commitment of its administration in the LGU’s responsiveness to the needs of business enterprises, thereby creating business opportunities.
Marikina City also came in third place in the G2C category for its Marikina One Map.
The Valenzuela City Online Services and the ALS ANA KALANG CeC (Alternative Learning System Ang NAgcarlan sa KAbuhayan at Literasi Aangat at Nangunguna sa Galing Community electronic Center) of the Municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna tied for second place in the G2C Category.
Completing the top three finishers in the G2B is Legazpi City’s Vision 2020: Invest Legazpi which came in second place with the Continued Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations for A More Effective and Efficient Business Permit and Licensing Procedure of Tagum City in the third place.
The Quezon City Business One Stop Shop (QC BOSS) was given a special award for the ePayment or Best in Digital Finance empowerment.
The eGOV Awards is an annual search for the best practices in local government units in utilizing information and communications technology (ICT) to effectively and efficiently deliver its public services directly to its constituents and to its business stakeholders.
The objective of the eGOV Awards is to encourage the effective and efficient utilization of information and communications technology (ICT) in the delivery of services and in the performance of duties and responsibilities by local government units (LGU’s).
We also aim to commend, collate and document best practices of LGU’s in integrating ICT in their processes to serve as example and benchmarks to other LGU’s and to improve the business ecosystem of the LGUs and motivate the private and business sector to actively participate and invest in the growth of the LGU’s, said Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, awards chair and NICP trustee.
Criteria for judging include innovative management in the use of ICT, impact or major results, their effects and benefits to the recipients of the service, relevance of the project to the overall objectives of the LGU and replication potential.
NICP led by Wilfredo Sa-a, executive director of the Cebu Educational Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT), also announced that three more categories will be opened in next year’s search, namely the Best in Data – Driven Governance (D2G) initiated in partnership with the Data Privacy Commission, Best in Government to Government Interoperability (G2G) and the Digital Finance empowerment or e-Payment.
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