The Philippines remains the outsourcing hotspot despite the emergence of new players in the global market, according to Bruntwork CEO Winston Ong. Most international researchers still place the Philippines as the “number one outsourcing destination.” Ong added that the BPO sector contributes around nine per cent to the Philippine economy — with contact center work contributing the highest amount. Headcount also remains substantial amid the pandemic, with over 1.5 million workers. Ong’s statement comes as think tank Moody’s Analytics projected a seven per cent PH GDP growth in 2022, the second-fastest in Asia-Pacific.
With this strong performance, the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector continues to fuel other industries. Office demand surged by 106% to 255,000 square meters (sq.m.) in the year’s second quarter of 2022. Real estate firm Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) said that the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector takes the lead in the office market as it accounts for 107,000 sq.m. of space. Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) also took up 21,000 sq.m. as gambling firms steadily re-entered the Philippine shores. LPC Director for Commercial Leasing Mikko Barranda said this significant real estate demand signifies that the country “continues to be a reliable solution for companies in the West fighting impending global recession.” On the other hand, the IT-BPM, agriculture, and tourism industries in the Visayas still need additional local and foreign investments. During an online business forum headed by The Manila Times, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor Atty. Jobert Peñaflorida said that IT-BPM and tourism sectors would be among the major economic drivers in the region, given the “revenge” arrival of foreign tourists and businesses. The PCCI Governor also described Iloilo as “the next big thing” in investments as it has a 90% rate for ease of trade between the local government and prospective investors. Penaflorida, along with Eastern Visayas Tourism Association (EVTA) Reynaldo Franco, are confident that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will support the rapid growth and development of the Visayas region during his presidency.
At the same time, IBPAP’s Madrid believes that the Philippines could double its outsourcing workforce by giving industry players the right set of incentives. The IBPAP chief said he always aims to point out “how indispensable” the industry is as an economic pillar to our economy.” Catering to the wants and needs of BPO employees also holds the key to the sustained growth of the IT-BPM industry. Quoting a recent survey, he emphasized that 80% of BPO employees want to keep working from home or have a hybrid setup. Madrid said they expect to have about 2.5 million outsourcing employees by 2028.
Despite giving up their fiscal incentives, BPO giant and Philippine’s largest private employer, Concentrix continues to urge the government to allow hybrid work arrangements for IT-BPO firms without affecting their fiscal incentives. Concentrix PH SVP and Country Leader Amit Jagga said that alternative work arrangements provide “unique benefits” for the industry and its employees as they help save people from the rising fuel and transportation costs. The firm disclosed that they have partnered with IBPAP and PEZA to convince relevant government stakeholders to uphold hybrid work models for the industry.
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