Publication: Expat Philippines
RP As A
Prime BPO Destination
Agnes M. Abrau
Philippines is poised to become an attractive outsourcing site in the world
counting India as its close competitor in Asia. India being the “king of
outsourcing”, industry leaders cited the rise of the number of business
process outsourcing (BPOs) companies in the country and the high demand for
employment in the sector. In 2005, the Philippines’ Department of Labor
took pride in the country’s productive workforce who possesses the
necessary skills in customer service and English proficiency to match world
Mitch Locsin, executive director of Business Process Association of the
Philippines, said that at present there are 266,000 Filipinos employed in
several BPOs across the country, adding that in the whole BPO industry, the
Philippines ranks third, India on top and China in second. He also said that
the country enjoys a 40 to 45 percent growth in the BPO industry in the
Philippines. Based on this growth path, it is expected that the employment
numbers in this sector will reach 800,000 by 2010, Locsin said.
The industry leaders also said the Philippines BPO sector placed second to
India in terms of cost. In 2005, the Department of Labor recorded the
employment of 132,000 workers in the first half of the said year.
“The BPO industry is doing quite well. 2007 will be a year to reckon with.
There will be more value-added services. The trick is to work closely with
the government and the academe,” Locsin told members of the media during a
press briefing held Feb. 19.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the leveraging of technology or
specialist process vendors to provide and manage an organization’s
critical and/or non-critical enterprise processes and applications. The most
common examples of BPO are call centers, human resources, accounting and
payroll outsourcing. Business process outsourcing may involve the use of
In line with this, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CCCP)
spearheads the first 2007 ICT Awards night on March 1 at the Ballroom 2 and
3 of Renaissance Makati City Hotel, Manila. The awards night, said CCCP
Executive Director Sean Georget, is set to highlight and promote the success
of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in the
Bullish about the BPO industry, Georget also told the media that the chamber
is promoting the Philippines as the BPO destination of choice in the
“What we’re doing here is to recognize outstanding performers in the
industry, to promote the Philippines as BPO outsourcing venue. We’re
branding the Philippines as the choice of BPO destination. We need to market
the Philippines internationally,” said Georget, adding that Filipinos can
do an extraordinary job in the area of customer service.
Moreover, the ICT Awards night also recognizes the contributions by
organizations and individuals within the Information and Communication
Technology community. The awards also provide a medium to promote the work
and achievements of category winners and finalists to the broader Philippine
business community and to provide a launching pad for marketing the
Philippines a destination of choice for multinational companies.
Believing that the Philippines would achieve this target, Georget said
it’s a win-win situation for the Canadian Chamber to organize this
first-ever recognition night.
“If we win, it’s a win-win situation. It brings up the ICT industry. By
promoting the Philippines as a BPO destination, it creates a bigger pie in
the international community,” Georget said.
Locsin, for his part, added: “We will have to make sure that the
Philippines is foremost in their (international market) minds. The
Philippines is the destination of choice for their outsourcing.” He added
that the Philippines is “moving up the value chain”. Recognizing India
being the leader in the field, the Philippines is not far behind. “India
is four to five years ahead of us,” he explained. On the
telecommunications infrastructure, Locsin said the Philippines is “up
there”. In 2004, the country ranked fourth in the infrastructure aspect. A
closer collaboration, however, is needed among the industry players, the
government and the academe to achieve this goal, Locsin said.
Locsin’s robust projections are echoed by Richard Mills, 1st vice
president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines as well as
Belen Bonifacio, managing director of Cebu Educational Development
Foundation Information Technology. The three, along with Board of
Investments Executive Director Celeste B. Ilagan, Don Felbaum, head of the
ICT Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines,
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Executive Director Henry
Schumacher and Sean Georget of CCCP serve as the ICT 2007 board of judges.
BPO also refers to the rearrangement of entire business functions to some
other service providers, mainly in low cost locations. The service provider
may be either self-owned or a third party. This relocation or contracting
out of business processes to an outside provider is mainly to achieve
increased shareholder value.
Some of the general services provided by the BPOs are receivables and
payables, inventory management, order processing, budget analysis, cash flow
analysis, reconciliation, data entry, payroll processing, QuickBooks
accounting, financial statement preparation and accounting services. Some of
the web based services include live online sales and order entry, E-commerce
transaction support, Live online enquiry handling, Web Design/Development,
BPO may include both IT management and business operations. Business
operations include relocating functions such as payroll, accounting, billing
or even real estate management to a third party. Invariably all these
business processes depend on IT but they are separate from hard-core IT
operations like data center activities or network administration. An
important facet of business process outsourcing is its ability to free
corporate executives from some of their day-to-day process management
responsibilities and duties.
2007 ICT Awards
According to CCCP statement, this year’s ICT Awards on March 1 will focus
on the international community and aims to bring together senior
professionals from the Philippines and Asia to highlight Philippine
competitiveness at the global level in the ICT sector.
In early 2005, the CCCP established and created the ICT Committee as a
result of its regular monthly event known as the ICT Leaders Forum, which
has become prominent within the international community in the Philippines
and the Asia Pacific region. The forum gathers together senior decision
makers in the ICT sector to listen to industry leaders and to provide
participants an opportunity for networking and discussion. It attracts more
than 100 key industry professionals from the Philippines and the Asia
Pacific region per event. It also has received strong media coverage
provided by local
and international publications.
Eight awards will be given out. These are BPO Company of the Year, Best New
BPO Locator of the Year, Best Mid-sized BPO Company of the Year, BPO
Employer of the Year, Fastest Growing BPO company of the Year, Most
Innovative BPO Company of the Year, ICT Individual Contributor of the Year
and the ICT Individual Contributor of the Year award (public and private).
The awards night will feature Jim Dvorkin, chief technology officer of Five9
and Eric Alberto, senior vice president of PLDT/Smart as keynote speakers.
Dvorkin will talk about “Technology Revolutionizing the Call Center
Industry.” It is supported by the country’s multinational companies such
as PLDT Business Solutions, Five9, BlackBerry, Colliers International,
Nortel, Business Mirror, Renaissance Makati City Hotel Manila, Sommelier and
Judges and the general public can provide nominations. Three to five
finalists for each category as well as the winners are voted on and chosen
by the Awards Judging Board.
Any company involved in providing Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
services to offshore client organizations from the Philippines during the
year 2006 can be considered for the award. The company may provide services
to internal clients (as a captive BPO) or to external clients (as a
noncaptive BPO). The services provided may include voice or non-voice.
The judging criteria include size and growth in revenue and employees, size,
quality and diversity of international clients (internal or external), depth
and breadth of competencies as demonstrated through industry recognition,
relevant certifications, and investment in the development of people,
processes and technologies; management capabilities as reflected in the
experience and accomplishments of the business’s top leaders and its
investment in management systems that ensure outsourcing success;
involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives; strong evidence
of actively supporting the international ICT industry in the Philippines.
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