BPO is not the Answer to Poverty in the Philippines
The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has become one of the key revenue and employment generators for the Philippine economy. However, a recent study from the Asia Development Bank Institute (ADB) states that the government should not rely on the industry in dealing with the poverty situation in the country.
In a study by F. Tech Tschang, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the Singapore Management University, he looked at the information technology (IT)-enabled services industries in China, India, and the Philippines. He said IT-BPO cannot be considered as a solution to lessen poverty since it does not help those who are poor and less educated. He added that while the impact of the BPO industry to the economy is significant, it is much less on a “per-person basis”.
In the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III, it was reported that the BPO industry generated more than 30,000 jobs early this year, and more job opportunities are expected for the rest of 2011. However, Mr. Tschang said this does not help a large part of the population. Only those with better education benefit from the industry. This increases the difference between people who have better education and those who don’t.
Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Chief Cayetano Paderanga said the BPO industry does not directly reduce poverty, but since it generates jobs, it still has a huge effect on the situation. He added that the government has direct programs to ensure that “nobody will be left behind”.