ASEAN integration opens PH to more BPOs
ASEAN integration opens PH to more BPOs
But the country though lacks ASEAN language capabilities, IT-BPO Association of the Philippines' officials say

MANILA, Philippines – The integration of Association of Southeast Asian Nations economies is yet another opportunity for the Philippines to offer information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) services to global companies expanding in the region.

This will also enable companies setting up global in-house centers or captives in the Philippines to develop multilingual skills and tap a rich pool of resources, Dan Reyes, chairman of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) said on the sidelines of the International IT-BPM Summit on October 5.

IBPAP President Jose Mari Mercado said companies which maintain global centers in Singapore or in Japan may eliminate the need to maintain multiple centers in Asia by consolidating them in Manila since bulk of their operations are in the country’s capital.

But the Philippines lacks language capabilities, Mercado said.

“The opportunity is there from an attractiveness perspective, in terms of location. But the challenge is we don’t have the language capabilities,” he noted.

Mercado said the industry is working with the Commission on Higher Education in identifying what language the Philippines can focus on.

Mercado explained, if a company decides to put up its regional shared service facility in the Philippines and needs two Vietnamese agents and cannot find them here, the ASEAN integration should make it easier to put two Vietnamese and work here.

New ‘next wave cities’

Domestically, IBPAP is set to release at the end of the month a new list of next wave cities to cultivate more sites on top of the tier 23 cities where BPOs are now located.

The industry is seen to end the year with 1.2 million workers.

Reyes said the industry is also seeking consistency in policies and laws as a support for investments beyond the Aquino administration.

“We have a lot of investors in this industry that are foreign-owned. Certainly the support on incentives requiring for continuity helps in getting either new businesses or expansion programs,” Reyes said. –

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