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9 February 2010

Philippines: Outsourcing sector earns $7.2bn in revenues

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Philippine business process outsourcing sector continues to be the country’s sunshine industry, generating more than $7.2 billion in revenues last year, a 19-percent increase from $6.1 billion in 2008, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In a presentation at the opening of the 10th e-Services Global Sourcing Conference and Exhibition Monday, Business Processing Association of the Philippines executive director for information and research Gillian Joyce Virata said the sector also generated 70,000 new jobs last year, bringing the industry total to 442,164 employees.

“We had a very difficult last quarter of 2008 and early 2009, but recovery started to kick in in the second half [of 2009]. We expect fast build-up within the first semester [of 2010],” she said.

Voice BPO, or the regular contact center operations, contributed the bulk of 2009 revenues at $5 billion, a 22-percent rise from year-ago figures. Coming in at second place was the back-office or non-voice BPO sector, which chalked up over $1.1 billion in earnings, representing a 35-percent rise from the previous year.

In terms of employment, the call center sector also provided the most jobs last year at 280,000 people, followed by the back-office sector at 86,000, and information technology outsourcing at 35,300.

For this year, Virata said the industry expected a rapid build-up within the first half as well as a greater diversity of service offerings. In terms of challenges, the BPO sector would have to contend with the negative perception issue that the country suffered abroad and the need to refocus government support for the industry.

She said the priority programs for 2010 would include the creation of a virtual BPO university, the rollout of the National Assessment Competency Program to an initial 10,000 students, the provision of P350 million worth of scholarships under the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship fund, the launch of a local and international campaign on the Filipino knowledge worker, and the conduct of the 2nd International Outsourcing Summit.

Laws that the industry hoped would be passed this year include the data privacy bill and the bill creating a department of information and communication technology, both of which failed to pass in the 14th Congress.

She said the IT-BPO industry was expected to continue treading the growth path this year, with revenues seen hitting $12 billion.


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