PH to create incubation hubs for startups, says Peza
MANILA -Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Tereso Panga on Monday said the government was looking to establish “industry excellence centers” to serve as incubation hubs for startups, seen part of its push to boost the competitiveness of local manufacturing as well as information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industries.
Panga said these incubation facilities would be established in partnership with the Board of Investments (BOI) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Information and Communications Technology, Department of Science and Technology, and other investment promotion agencies.
“This initiative will complement the DTI-BOI’s proposed ‘pilot factory,’ which will allow for prototyping of innovation and technology products,” Panga said in a public post.
He highlighted as well that the measure would complement Peza’s lead to set up KIST (knowledge, innovation and science technology) parks, biotech centers and high-tech ecozones to promote research and development, and commercialization of patents.
It would also help with industry upskilling and reskilling to prepare the local workforce, as well as the local supply global value chains, for advanced manufacturing and the fourth industrial revolution, he added.
Further, Panga spoke of bright prospects for the local health-care information management services (HIMS) sector this year, particularly as a sub-segment of the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry.
“With the phenomenal rise onto postglobal COVID pandemic in the demand for health-care information management and remote telehealth services, the Philippine IT industry stands a stronger chance across Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in attracting HIMS-related [foreign direct investments] into call center and [business process outsourcing] operations,” he said.
He said the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines, currently the largest umbrella organization of IT-BPM firms in the country, was vying for the needed diversification of higher value clinical and nonclinical services, pharmaceutical support, software development and digital applications, data analytics and other artificial intelligence-based solutions.
“We have the best ecosystem to enable the growth, particularly of the HIMS industry players in the country’s ecozones,” Panga said.
To date, Peza oversees 298 IT parks and centers nationwide, with 1,581 IT locator-companies generating cumulative investments of P443.1 billion, annual export revenues amounting to $19.9 billion and creating direct jobs for 1,071,418 Filipinos.
However, he said that Peza was hosting only 30 HIMS locators to date, a sub-sector that currently has P1.2 billion worth of approved investments, $100.8 billion in actual export sales and 6,715 direct jobs.
Panga said that the health-care information and related health practices represented 10 to 13 percent of the IT-BPM industry in the Philippines, with foreign direct investment and exports under the sector expected to grow by 13 percent to 15 percent this year, citing projections from the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines. INQ