PRESS RELEASE: BPO Sector to Wrap this Year Up on a Positive Note (Dec 18, 2017)
The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) is confident that the country's business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry will wrap this year up positively.
IBPAP emphasized that Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) continues to receive investment pledges. IBPAP's president and CEO, Rey Untal, stated that the planned Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) has also sustained the reaction of the country's top BPO players.
As per Untal, "We will definitely end the year in growth, but I can't give a figure. The latest version of the TRAIN bill at the Senate has been very favorable and supportive of what the industry is espousing."
Untal stated that the increasing positive reactions from BPO players have helped boost the sector's performance when it comes to PEZA investment pledges.
Dramatic BPO resurgence seen in 2018 (Dec 13, 2017)
The Philippines will likely see a dramatic resurgence in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry next year on the back of improved relations with the US, in turn boosting office space take-up to another record high and making Metro Manila one of Asia's top office markets.
This is according to property veteran David Leechiu, president of property consulting firm Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), who predicted that office property take-up in the metropolis next year could reach a new record high of 800,000 to 850,000 square meters (sqms) from around 750,000 sqms this year.
In an interview on Tuesday, Leechiu said rental rates in the Metro Manila may rise by 10-15 percent next year for Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-accredited buildings while non-PEZA buildings with online gaming tenants may still command a 10-percent rental rate growth.
THE SILICON VALLEY VETERAN TACKLING OUTSOURCING IN THE PHILIPPINES
Funders may be scarce, but Sy trumpets another benefit to working in the Philippines: Forty percent of senior managers are women, making it the third-highest ranking country in terms of the proportion of women in top management roles. The U.S. comes in at just 23 percent. Sy says she instantly felt the difference after coming home: "It's great when you are talking to potential clients and almost everyone you talk to is a woman or has worked for a woman decision-maker."
The Philippines isn't perfect, she clarifies, but she feels less self-conscious running a business as a woman. And being self-conscious isn't good for business. "That's a constant drain on your morale and energy, and you need that to be running a company."
The outsourcing sector in the Philippines, at $23 billion, has eclipsed India's. But its comparative advantage of cheap labor is threatened by cheaper alternatives of automation and AI. Aside from the call centers, the country's manufacturing industries will also be affected by what Legara says is the "advent of the fourth Industrial Revolution."
Sy's company is fully engaged in helping redesign the country's economy to adapt to this new AI age. Her answer? Human augmentation. For example, imagine that instead of replacing people at call centers with AI technology or automation, you augment the humans — supercharge them — to be more productive. Rather than reading off a script, a worker could manage 300 people using new AI technology, telling them what to do in every situation, while still providing that emotive connection that makes them valuable.