Byline: edu h. lopez
The Philippine economy would generate an estimated $363 million if its software piracy rate is further reduced to 53 percent by 2006 from the current 63 percent, according to a study by IDC (International Data Corporation).
Commissioned by Business Software Alliance (BSA), the study showed that the local IT industry could increase its revenues by more than $260 million and add $20 million to the government?s tax coffers if software piracy is reduced by 10 percent in the next four years.
IDC said the IT industry could generate 2,000 new high-tech and high-wage jobs for the workforce.
Mariene Mendoza-Vianzon, research director of IDC Philippines said a reduced piracy rate would generate a compounded annual growth rate of 9.4 percent over the next five years on the local IT industry.
Annual IT job growth was estimated at 14.5 percent. The Philippines had the biggest drop of 29 percent from 1996 to 2001 in piracy rate in Southeast Asian region, according to BSA vice president for Asia Jeff Hardee.
The study was based on a survey of the top 80 companies in terms of revenues in the Philippines.
?We have to sit down with marketing managers, vendors, dealers and channel partners as to their expectations and performance,? said Vianzon.
Hardee said reducing piracy rate would give benefits to the countries in the region in terms of generating more taxes and revenues.
?There?s a strong correlation between lowering piracy rate and the economies throughout the 57 countries in Asia.?
The countries that had benefited most from lower piracy rates are China, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Hardee said that BSA is recommending to governments to protect copyrights, step up enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) and increase awareness of using legal software.
He noted that the government is a big user of software applications. ?If the government uses legal software, it would be a good example to the business community.?
?It is important for the government to participate in a sustained awareness campaign on the benefits of using legal software. The government should also fight Internet piracy, the fastest form of piracy,? Hardee said.
He was satisfied with the way the Philippine government agencies had close cooperation with industries in the continued campaign against illegal software.
BSA plans to roll out a campaign against Internet piracy in the Asian region. It has a web crawler that automatically searches web sites that are using illegal software. ?The level of Internet piracy in Asia is very high,? said Hardee.
Ronald Chua, chair, BSA Philippines said the IDC report reveals not only how significant the software sector has been for economic growth worldwide but how it would continue to be the engine in powering the Asian economies forward.
?As the software industry is growing more rapidly than traditional industries, it will become a prominent driver of economic growth.?
?Protection and enforcement of IPR encourages entrepreneurs to develop innovative products that make businesses operate more efficiently and our lives run more smoothly,? said Chua. …