Philippines to keep BPO lead in ASEAN integration

Ivy Jean Vibar, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2017 10:30 AM

MANILA – The Philippines will maintain its status as a world capital for outsourcing, even as it integrates its economy with the rest of Southeast Asia, an industry group said.

Filipino business process outsourcing workers are fluent in English and are naturals when it comes to customer service, giving them an advantage, said Jay Santisteban, operations director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

“I think the industry is unique in itself, that the Philippines is actually in a very good position…We are more focused in providing more capacity to service our increasing demand from our customers abroad. Hindi pa namin nakikita ang problems [with the ASEAN integration],” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

The Philippines rivals India as the world's top destination for companies looking to cut costs. The BPO industry is also a key job generator and dollar earnings help strengthen the peso.

The industry is “entrenched” in the Philippines, Santisteban said, with setups here larger than in other ASEAN countries. The country’s neighbors also have their own call centers, but they largely cater to the domestic market.

Other ASEAN countries might also have to spend a lot in order to upscale contact center and BPO operations, he said.