MANILA - Business process outsourcing is "alive and kicking" in the country, TELUS International Philippines (TIP) said Friday, as it revealed plans to hire up to 5,000 new workers until 2020.
This will bring TIP's workforce to 19,000 from 14,000, said its director for brand, marketing and culture in the Philippines, Carlos Giammattei. The company is helping its employees prepare for the shift to automation and artificial intelligence, he said.
"There is definitely an important integration that we need to carry out for AI. I think the BPO industry is very well alive and kicking and we will be in the next 5 years," Giammattei told ANC's Early Edition.
"We have seen data on the fact that BPO companies that ride the digital wave will get an edge in the next 3 years and will be able to adapt to these market needs," he said.
TIP's transactions doubled in 2018 compared to the previous year, he said.
Asked if robots are poised to replace Filipino BPO workers, Giammattei said: "Not yet. We don't see that happening in the coming years... We don't see it as a threat. We see it as an opportunity."
Empathy gives humans an edge over robots, Giammattei said, adding demand for Filipino workers remained "huge" due to English proficiency.
"Filipinos like to call it 'malasakit,' and I am a firm believer here. We have the empathy that a machine cannot learn at the moment," he said.