The Philippines moved one rank higher in a study on IT competitiveness conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit, placing itself at 10th among 17 countries in the Asia Pacific.

However, the country remained 47th among 66 countries worldwide with a score of 28.7%.

The study was commissioned by Business Software Alliance (BSA) in order to measure the competitiveness of a country in terms of business environment, human capital, IT infrastructure, legal environment, research and development (R&D) environment, and support for the IT industry.

Results show that the Philippines have an encouraging business environment, having set government policies on foreign capital, investment protection, government regulations, and fair competition, to name a few.

Also, the country has a strong human capital, or workforce equipped with up-to-date knowledge and skills related to IT, who can cope up with the needs of the industry. Aside from technical skills, college graduates here in the Philippines have good ‘soft’ skills or communication skills in English, in particular. They are able to express themselves and present ideas in a clear, concise manner.

Meanwhile, government should increase focus on R&D, particularly in harnessing new technology, stronger legal environment, building IT infrastructures and should support and pursue patent of locally made IT products.

IT infrastructure is measured by the percentage of personal computer (PC) ownership, high broadband penetration, good internet security, and level of spending in IT.

Patent is the exclusive right granted to an individual who has produced or created an invention or product which is intended for distribution or production. It protects the invention from being copied, reproduced, sold or promoted without consent of the patentee.

By pursuing patents, companies who are into IT development, whether in the form or software or hardware will be protected. BSA Vice-President and Regional Director for Asia Pacific Jeffrey J. Hardee told the press that companies and the government must focus and allocate funds dedicated to R&D, else, no patents will be made and the country will continue to lag in this field.

Furthermore, Hardee adds that strengthening the Intellectual property (IP) laws of the land should also be a priority to ensure maximum protection of IT-based patents.

As a form of assistance, BSA has appointed Atty. Bienvenido Marquez III as Consultant to the BSA Philippines Committee. Atty. Marquez has been working as an associate lawyer specializing in IP Laws. Marquez shall be working close at hand with BSA and the government to facilitate and promote better ways to protect and promote IP in the country. thanks the following sources:

Business Software Alliance. The means to compete – Benchmarking IT industry competitiveness (in .PDF format entitled EIU IT Competitiveness Index Whitepaper) Retrieved October 17, 2008

Business Software Alliance. Business Software Alliance appoints RP Consultant Retrieved October 17, 2008

Montecillo, Paolo Luis G. BusinessWorld Online / IT Matters. Research tagged as IT’s biggest challenge. Retrieved October 17, 2008

Silva, Veronica C. GMANews.TV RP maintains global IT competitiveness ranking Retrieved October 17, 2008

Amojelar, Darwin G. Manila Times Internet Edition RP fails to lift competitiveness in information technology Retrieved October 17, 2008

Olchondra, Riza T. Philippine Daily Inquirer Philippines up in IT competitiveness Retrieved October 17, 2008

Valmero, Anna Retrieved October 17, 2008 EIU study says RP ranks 10th in IT competitiveness. Retrieved October 17, 2008