The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently promoted the Philippines’ attractiveness as an investment destination at a US roadshow on healthcare information management, seeing job opportunities for Filipinos in the healthcare segment of the information technology-business process management sector (IT-BPM).
In a statement, the DTI said a Philippine delegation attended the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition recently at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
DTI Industry Promotion Group (IPG) Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, who led the Philippine delegation to the US, said that the US roadshow helped to boost the country’s presence abroad, attracting future investors and companies in the healthcare information management (HIM) sector in the Philippines.
The Philippine delegation led by Terrado was composed of 15 government and major business process outsourcing (BPO) company representatives including Pointwest Technologies, SPi Global, Globe Telecom, and Megaworld Corp. This is the first delegation of the Philippines to the HIMSS, the DTI said.
During the HIMSS, a business forum on the HIM sector in the Philippines was conducted with Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim of the Philippine Consulate General in LA giving the opening remarks, and Terrado providing an overview of the economic development in the country.
HIM is one of the leading industries in the country, driving the growth of the local IT-BPM sector. The healthcare segment of the IT-BPM sector is now providing jobs to 100,000 Filipinos, a workforce which is expected to expand to 135,000 workers by the end of the year.
“With the growing US demand for healthcare information management services, we are now eyeing more US healthcare companies in the Philippines, which in turn, will provide more job opportunities for Filipinos,” Terrado said.
At present, about 75 percent of US healthcare companies outsource to Asian countries. DTI cited research from consulting firm MarketsandMarkets, saying that the healthcare industry “makes up for 17.7 percent of the US [gross domestic product], approaching $3 trillion in annual spend, and is projected to grow to $4.8 trillion by 2020, thereby increasing the outsourcing opportunity.”
The DTI views this as an opportunity to expand employment, noting the Filipinos’ competitive advantages in English communication skills, strong customer service orientation, and high adaptability to consumers’ Western culture make the country among the top destinations of IT-BPM companies in Asia.
“We want to position our country and our people as the best in providing services needed by investors in the BPM sector. Our people are highly competitive and our economy is getting better. With our improved economic climate, we are more confident now that we can attract more US companies to invest in the Philippines in the coming year,” Terrado said.
The HIMSS roadshow is one of the largest HIM conferences held each year. This year’s conference in Las Vegas featured more than 1,200 exhibitors, and was attended by more than 42,000 visitors from around the world.
The DTI said the delegation expects increased investment in the HIM-BPM sector as many US companies showed interest in the Philippines during the roadshow.