A study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Business Software Alliance (BSA) showed that the Philippines ranked 10th most competitive IT industry environment in the Asia-Pacific, moving up one rank from last year. The 2008 IT Industry Competitive Index found that the Philippines is strong in human capital, comprising of a large and rapidly growing young population who are well-educated in the tertiary level and has good English-speaking skills. In terms of IT workers, the country ranks fourth in Asia-Pacific. However, the country still remains 47th worldwide. The same study also shows that the country still lags in IT and telecommunications infrastructure and research and development funding.
Jeffrey Hardee, vice president and regional director of BSA Asia-Pacific said that the country needs to invest in research and development more and establish a stable IP framework since that’s where the higher value-added is going to come in. The Philippines dropped 10 places from last year in R&D, placing the country at 62nd in the global list. Very few patents are registered each year and the government allots only $1.2 for every 100 persons for R&D. The need to focus on these areas cannot be stressed enough as local individuals and companies often have produced or already have their own IP but failed to register it.
Once IP is produced and registered, the person or company gains copyright protection which will in turn translate into profits from licensing fees. This will help the country move up the IT value chain and offer more outsourcing opportunities. The Philippine government has a big role to play in the IT industry, such as creating an increased awareness in the benefits of IP portfolios and a cohesive legal environment for IP rights. At present, bills implementing the WIPO treaty and domestic IP registration are still pending in the Senate.
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