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BPO players still confident despite win of anti-outsourcing Obama

By Declan McCullagh,
November 05, 2008
Industry experts from the business process outsourcing (BPO) believe that Barack Obama’s victory in the US presidential election will have no major direct impact in the growth of the industry in the Philippines.

Oscar Sañez, chief executive officer of the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP), said that victory of Obama will have only little effect on the BPO industry in the country.

Obama has expressed during the campaign that he is not in favor of outsourcing jobs to other countries. His campaign website ( said that Obama and his vice-president-elect Joe Biden would end tax breaks for companies that send job overseas.

“Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe that companies should not get billions of dollars in tax deductions for moving their operations overseas. Obama and Biden will also fight to ensure that public contracts are awarded to companies that are committed to American workers,” the website reads.

Obama was also among those who introduced the Patriot Employer Act of 2007, which seek to reward companies that create good jobs for American workers by providing tax credits to firms that maintain their corporate headquarters in the United States and maintain or increase their full-time workers in America relative to those outside US.


“Even if he promotes tax breaks, at the end of the day it is still the company who will decide,” Sañez said.

The incentives, Sañez added, is not enough to discourage companies to outsource jobs to other countries. He said that the slowdown in US economy would also encourage the companies to implement cost-saving measures and re-structure their companies.

“Some major functions have not been outsourced yet,” Sañez told

Jojo Uligan, executive director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), said that there is no need to be alarmed. “It’s too early to say [that Obama’s victory will have an impact on the industry.]

“As long as we continue to provide the high quality service and satisfy our clients, we can still experience the growth,” Uligan told

Sunshine industry

Industry data showed that the BPO industry has been growing by about 50 percent for the past three years.

The Philippines is named as the offshoring destination for 2007 by the UK’S National Outsourcing Association (NOA). For 2008, the Philippines is among the three finalists for this category.

Industry experts say that the BPO industry is also trying to tap potential markets outside the United States.

Sañez said that although around 82 percent of the clients of the BPO firms are in the United States, the industry clients in United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore and even from outsourcing powerhouse India.

The BPO industry is considered as one of the sunshine industries in the Philippines. As of 2007, the industry employed around 300,000 workers and generated US$4.9 billion revenue.

By 2010, the industry hopes to provide a million jobs and to generate US$13 billion revenues, or a 10 percent share of the global market.

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