Philippines Duterte Protects BPO Sectors

October 28
6:00 AM 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will protect the country's business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, a Cabinet official said Thursday, as he urged stakeholders to "forget the political noise."

The BPO industry, which employs 1.2 million, has sought clarification from the President on his tough rhetoric against its main client, the United States.

"I assure you that the BPO sector will be protected not only by me, but by the President," Secretary Rodolfo Salalima of the Department of Information and Communication Technology said.

"Contracts that have been enforced and still existing shall be respected and will continue until their full implementation," he added.

Salalima told a BPO summit that his agency would ensure policies are in place to sustain the industry's growth.

"It is clear that the creation of the DICT will make the country a prime spot for the BPO industry and we assure you that the same objective and mandate of our department will remain and be pursued," he said.

During the summit, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) presented its roadmap for the next six years.

Industry revenues had the potential to reach $38.9 billion in 2022 from $22.9 billion this year, said IBPAP vice chairman Lito Tayag.

The Philippine outsourcing industry aims to increase its share of the global market to 15.5 percent in 2022 from the current 12.6 percent, he said.

Tayag said the industry would continue to be a key job generator, accounting for one in every seven jobs created in the next seven years.

It also aims to expand outside the capital, where it aims to grow employment by 11 percent and plans to hire more workers with post-graduate qualifications, he said.

The group plans to increase its non-voice offerings to 42 percent from 34 percent. The industry had been preparing to weather the impact of the automation of voice-based services.

The industry would rather focus on the President's economic agenda and on their foreign business counterparts, Philippine Call Center and Outsourcing Alliance founding President joji Bian Ilagan told ANC's "Market Edge with Cathy Yang."

"As a sector we would like to focus on that so that our outsourcing partners would realize, it makes good business sense doing outsourcing in the Philippines," she said.

Duterte announced last week the country's "separation" from the US, while on a four-day state visit to China, capping weeks of verbal attacks on Washington for criticizing his bloody war on drugs.

He has also threatened to curse at US President Barack Obama, forcing the cancellation of their planned meeting in Laos in September, and ordered a stop to joint sea patrols between Filipino and American troops.

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