Publication: Taliba Canada
to Philippines: Is Now The Right Time?
Rebecca Bustamante, President
seems to be a long held belief by Filipinos that working anywhere outside
Philippines is a better career option than working within. In the past,
there have been good reasons for this. In countries like the US, there are
more jobs and the pay is better. As well, career advancement is supposed to
be more dependent on performance rather than favoritism.
result has been one of the greatest net movements of workers of any nation
in the history of the world. Even today, a steady stream of Filipino
professionals leave Philippines for work elsewhere and few return.
that is, until recently.
Today, a reversal of this long-term trend is in the air. Career-minded
weighing the options of working abroad and more often they are choosing to
Philippines. More and more are considering returning to their home country
and it, seems that an important turning point in our country’s history is
main reason for this change has to do with an expanding number and range of
employment opportunities in Philippines. Income levels are also rising and
opportunities for advancement are becoming more numerous. People with
overseas professional experience are one group who are benefiting most.
understand some reasons for this change, let’s look at some key industries
to describe the most active sectors. The fastest growing industry from an
employment perspective is clearly Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). From
almost zero jobs a
few years ago, there are now close to 300,000 people working in this
industry. Philippines is said to be the fastest growing BPO destination in
the world today. This
monumental growth opportunity has resulted in unrivaled opportunities for
management professionals. Hundreds of experienced managers are required
every month for this sector that is growing at 10,000 new employees per
& Electronics doesn’t promote itself as well as the BPO industry but
is growing at double-digit rates. Given that a short time ago everyone
thought the industry would move to China, this is significant. Today,
Philippines is confident of continuing growth for this huge industry that
provides 60% of export earnings. Texas Instruments is a particularly
interesting example of this confidence. It recently chose Philippines for a
new billion dollar plant that will be the largest single foreign investment
in the history of the nation.
sectors like mining are attracting interest from the world’s premier
organizations. Typical projects of these people are $1B in size and include
tremendous benefits to remote communities since they build roads, hospitals
and schools, in addition to providing jobs for thousands of people. One
Canadian company has plans to build a $3B refinery that will possibly be the
largest in the region.
that the entire foreign direct investment for all of Philippines was just
as of a year or so ago, this is a tremendous turn around. It all speaks well
of the country’s near-term future for employment and business
Arroyo is making steady progress at improving the country. Gone are the
regular mass protests and coup attempts. Instead, Filipinos are getting used
strengthening peso and trade surplus. Even the country’s fiscal deficit
seems on track
to disappear over the next few years.
of multinational companies in Asia have come to notice these positive
at a time when other countries aren’t looking quite as interesting as they
did a short time ago. Thailand’s recent military coup has been disastrous
for foreign investment. Other countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia are
said to be over-invested and China has lost some of its shine. India, the
main alternative for BPO services, is rapidly pricing itself out of the
the alternatives, the situation in Philippines looks downright appealing.
But, as everyone knows, Philippines has a less than stellar track record in
political stability. Nevertheless, the phrase “sustainable growth” is
being heard about Philippines for the
first time in a long time.
you can imagine, these industries and many others need experienced
professionals if they are to grow. Unfortunately for Philippines, tremendous
numbers of professionals have left over the years and there are holes in the
middle and senior management ranks that can not be filled locally. The best
option, of course, is to attract Filipinos with international experience
back to Philippines.
Bustamante is returned to Philippines from Canada 7 years ago. She is
President of Chalre Associates, one of the southeast Asia’s dominant
firms focusing solely on senior management positions for multinational
the article above
PDF format by clicking below.
& Management Consulting:
Associates provides its Executive Search & Management
Consulting services throughout the Asia Pacific region. We are
proactive and well known in our sectors of focus. Regional
Managers use us to help bridge the gap between local environments and
the world-class requirements of multinational corporations.