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           Function Room 1 & 2, SMX Convention Center
                      Mall of Asia, Pasay City
                        February 8, 2010

(applause) Thank you.

Thank you, Secretary Favila for your introduction.

Secretary Romulo, Alabastro and Chua. Ms. Laskowski, Mr. Dayrit,
participants from the local and international industry, ladies and

Welcome to the Philippines! for those of you who are from abroad. I
understand two thirds of the foreign delegates are from New York,
welcome especially to you!

This event has been going on for ten years, since the start of my
administration. I have attended every year because from the beginning,
as Secretary Favila said, we declared technology as the foundation of our
future economic development, and we declared that we would create
wealth by developing the labor-intensive, skills-intensive service sectors
such as ICT as the key growth sectors.

And I am glad that today nine years later, we did it. (applause)

From scratch, with only 2,000 workers and $24 million in revenues in
year 2000, we have created what is today a global powerhouse: the BPO
industry. Almost half a million workers last year, expected to be 600,000
this year; more than $7 billion in revenues last year, expected to exceed
$9 billion this year. We created this powerhouse for smart business
solutions such as what you can offer with vision, determination and
smart government policies in three areas:

First, digital infrastructure. We encouraged more broadband services in
cities and identified growth areas. Thanks to these investments in
connectivity, the cost of international calls went down from 40 cents a
minute to 2 cents through VOiP. The number of internet users jumped
from two million in year 2000 to more than 24 million today.

And so that no Taiwan tremor or tsunami can cut off our cyber services
from their global clients, we encouraged the major telecommunications
companies to invest billions in redundancy connections.

The second set of smart policies was an appropriate legal and business
environment framework. We created the Cabinet-level Commission on
ICT, headed now by Rey Chua, with the philosophy that the ICT sector
should be guided by the market, with minimal government interference
but rather government encouragement instead of interference. For
example, if the market calls for call centers, we shouldn't force the
investors to specialize in data management. Instead, we gave incentives
to the developers of IT parks, assisted investors in identifying promising
provincial sites now known as the Cyber Corridor, which we have been
touring the past week and which ends today with this e-Services
Conference. And we built more transport facilities to those new sites in
the provinces.

This philosophy drove the fast growth of call centers. But now the market
is also moving our services towards the higher value added segments of
the offshoring and outsourcing industries, namely: the non-voice critical
business processes such as software development, engineering design,
game development, animation and knowledge process outsourcing. For
instance, in animation, don’t fail to see the upcoming animated film “Up,”
proudly Filipino-made.

And it is said that the highest IT value in the world can be found right
here in the Philippines, the Deutsche Knowledge Services. It is the
leader, the world leader, in terms of its financial services and its
technology workflow development.

Third smart policy, the development of human capital. To increase the
country’s share in the global market for offshoring and outsourcing
services, the government intensified the implementation of various
programs that will train its workforce to enable them to find jobs in the
BPO sector and to educate the young on the use of computers and the
internet for the next generation of IT and BPO workers. More than 5,000
of our 6,000 public high schools now have computer laboratories.
Almost 4,000 of them are connected to the internet. In technical
education and skills training, we have invested 36 billion pesos, or
about... well about, almost about 700 million dollars, three times as
much as the combined budgets of the three previous administrations.

More than one billion pesos of this investment goes to BPO scholarships.
Of this amount, the larger share goes to the skills training program for
near hires supervised by the Business Process Association of the
Philippines. The training programs dovetail with the trends and changing
needs of the industry, so for now we offer programs to close the voice

With all of these developments over the last nine years, I’m so proud that
today the Philippines with 90 million people shares with India’s one
billion population the center stage in BPO supremacy.

As early as 2007... (applause) Thank you. As early as 2007, the
Philippines was already recognized as the center of excellence in
customer service. Last year, for the second time, the United Kingdom
awarded the Philippines as the Offshoring Destination of the Year.

And among our cities outside Manila, Cebu is the number one Emerging
Outsourcing City in the world, according to Tholons Global Services.

Iloilo and Davao were included in KPMG’s list of 31 Emerging
Outsourcing Destinations in the world. Global brands continue to
choose the Philippines as the BPO destination of choice: Accenture,
Teletech, Convergys, Genpact, HP, Deutsche Bank -- as I mentioned --
HSBC, IBM, JP Morgan, Sitel, Sykes, Transcom, to name just a few.

So to my colleagues in government and the private sector who brought
the Philippine ICT to where it is now, and to our locators, I thank you.

And to our participants who are still looking, may their success
encourage you to come and join the surge of the Philippines as an e-
Services powerhouse.

Mabuhay to all of you! And thank you. (applause)

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