More Software Development Aid Sought

Article excerpt

Byline: BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

The government is urged to give equal emphasis to the development of software development sector because it has higher value added than the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

Computer Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Association of the Philippines (CMDDAP) president Juan G. Chua stressed that computer software sector accounts for 40 percent of the total IT business in the country but the local software sector's contribution is very negligible.

The total IT industry is expected to grow by 20 percent this year over last year with the BPO sector as the main driver of growth.

Chua, however stressed, there are hundreds of small local software developers but which have no opportunities to market their products.

The big Filipino computer software developers are also serving as mere subcontractors to foreign clients mostly Japanese and Americans but very few have ventured into their own production like dental management, hospital management solutions, and HR and payroll systems.

According to Chua, software development has a huge potential because it does not need huge capital but only brain power and the country has produced good computer programmers.

"We have enough computer software engineers, good computer programmers who end up in call centers," he stressed noting that work in call centers are "dead-end jobs" but the government is concentrating on the promotion of the BPO sector.

While Chua acknowledged the huge contribution of the BPO sector particularly in jobs generation, he noted that having computer programmers work in call centers is a "waste of talent and education" when they could be more productive in software development.

He noted that call center operators only come here because of the relatively low cost of operating here but once other lowcost countries like China have catch-up with their English proficiency, these call centers can easily fly out to these countries. …