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BPO operations going back to normal

Alexander Villafania
Monday, October 5, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Except for some employee absences, the country’s outsourcing firms, particularly those in Metro Manila, managed to operate without a hitch.

Only a few companies experienced operational problems, particularly those that were located in the most-flooded areas of Marikina City and Cainta, Rizal. These include the ICT Group, NCO, and TeleTech.

In an interview, Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) Director for Industry Affairs Jonathan de Luzurriaga said most of the affected locations diverted their processes to other locations, either locally or offshore, prior and during the height of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (international name: Ketsana) last Sept. 26.

One of the issues was that many of the employees in the affected areas were unable to report for work due to floods, which prompted company managers to move certain processes elsewhere.

Another was that major thoroughfares remained either flooded or caked with mud rendering them impassable.

He also stressed that there were no major damages to BPO facilities and that these locations would be back in operation soon.

“We were built for such diversity and we could say that all operations were barely affected. We are still checking, but so far there are no reports of employee deaths,” de Luzurriaga said.

De Luzurriaga said many of the BPO companies have started releasing the 13th month pay of employees to help recover from last weekend’s disaster.

There were also plans to reallocate budgets of corporate social responsibility activities to help in the relief efforts. “There are already some companies talking to each other so that they don’t have to repeat what each other is doing for the relief efforts.”

De Luzurriaga said the typhoon has not affected the country’s perception as a BPO location. There were even some companies that received assistance from branches outside the Philippines.

“We were already talking to some investors last Monday,” de Luzurriaga said.

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