Philippine BPOs poised to weather automation trend

Business, Call Center


MANILA – The Philippines, home to one of the world’s largest business outsourcing hubs, can withstand a global shift to automation, an industry group said Wednesday.

Tasks that can be automated, or those that require little abstract thinking, are expected to contract by 28 percent in the next six years while middle and high skill tasks that require experience are expected to grow by 7 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

“Nobody is doing basic data entry here anymore,” said Benedict Hernandez, president of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines.

Hernandez said an inventory was underway to determine the skill levels of the country’s BPO workers.

The Philippines has rivaled India as the world’s top destination for business outsourcing, offering relatively cheap costs and an English-speaking workforce.

Global outsourcing is expected to grow to $255 billion by 2022 from $166 billion this year, and in the Philippines, the industry is expanding up to three times faster, he said.

Over 100 international investors and clients are set to attend the 11th International Contact Center Conference and Expo in Manila next month, indicating sustained interest in the country, he said.