As reported by Manila Bulletin, the BPO sector has acknowledged the looming impact that will be brought upon by technological innovations, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and robotics. In line with this, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) plans for the issue to become the topic of discussions at the upcoming 9th International IT-BPM Summit on November 7.
"Many experts are predicting that the workforce is in danger of being replaced by automation but that is simply not the case. What is often overlooked about automation is that while it is expected to impact certain jobs in the sector, this will also enable the IT-BPM Industry to move up the value chain, resulting in an increase in mid-skilled jobs and high skilled services," said IBPAP President Rey Untal.
Untal noted that international experts will attend the 9th International IT-BPM Summit to discuss comprehensively the impact of technology and the future of the BPO industry.
In Q2 of 2017, new investment pledges in the IT-BPM sector went down by 34% YoY, according to a data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The data also reported that investment commitments in the BPO sector went down to R4.9 billion in Q2 from R6.27 billion.
In response to the issues surrounding the effects AI will have on the Filipino workers, Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) President Jojo Uligan said that efforts should focus on finding more opportunities for their workforce.
"Our success in this industry is our people. We have to make sure that we protect them, make them stay relevant, and educate them. Yes, the industry would feel certain impacts but what we are focusing on are the opportunities," said Uligan.
In August 2017, Colliers International released a report detailing the segments that will benefit from the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure buildup program (or the BBB program). Based on the report, property development will be positively affected by the program, urging property developers and locators to take advantage of opportunities in expanding to provincial hubs.
According to Paul Vincent Ramirez, Valuations and Advisory Director of Colliers International Philippines, the BBB program is expected to contribute to the growth of the real-estate sector in the Philippines, particularly in the residential and office markets.
Ramirez said that "the planned infrastructure projects nationwide, if implemented, will unlock the potential in different areas across the country."
Furthermore, the positive outlook towards the BBB program is driven by continuous remittances from OFWs as well as the expanding BPO sector in the country.
"Residential take-up still continues to be strong and is keeping pace with the previous year. For the office market, BPO, gaming, and traditional office locators are the key drivers. While OFW remittances will still help prop up the residential sector."
BPO firms are one of the biggest office space tenants in Metro Manila, and the report from Colliers International suggests that these firms should consider expanding in the provinces. With this, we can also expect a boost in employment opportunities not just in the Philippine capital but in the provinces as well.
In addition to 75 flagship infrastructure projects identified earlier this year, the National Economic and Development Authority Board (NEDA) is planning to approve 18 additional flagship infrastructures before the year ends.
by: Sidney Liquigan
The Philippines and India are two of the leading countries, as well as top competitors when it comes to business process outsourcing (BPO). But rather than competing, we may be seeing these two BPO nations as outsourcing partners in the future.
That is according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in a report by GMA News last September 11. According to Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, instead of competing with one another, the Philippines and India are looking for ways to complement each other's BPO sectors.
"In the area of BPOs, we agreed to work on hopefully improving complementation in serving our respective clients in areas of complementation instead of competing," Lopez said.
"We can probably jointly offer our respective services,” he added, saying that the respective areas of strengths of the Philippines and India should be combined and offered to clients.
The Philippines is a top call center outsourcing choice due to Filipino workers who are highly proficient in the English language and due to the Filipino culture's affinity to Western cultures. India, on the other hand, is a top location for European and US outsourcing firms and has the largest talent pool in the world in terms of technical skills.