BPO Groups Join Forces to Realize RP Hub Dream

THE business process outsourcing industry (BPO) in the country has united to help the government make the Philippines the BPO hub in Asia.

This is the thrust of the Business Process Association of the Philippines (Bpap), the product of the union between the Contact Center Association of the Philippines and the Call Center Federation of the Philippines, Bpap chairman Bong Borja said.

In an interview at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel last Monday, he said the Bpap, which was launched in November, will focus on ensuring the sustainability of the country’s BPO industry by lobbying for legislation that will benefit the industry.

“Last year, we promoted the country (abroad) to let the world know that we are capable of doing business process outsourcing (BPO) activities. Now that we are already known, we are going to ensure that we are able to deliver on this promise,” he said.

Borja, who is also the president of call center company PeopleSupport, said the sustainability of the BPO industry in the country will help reduce unemployment in the country.

“There is no other sector in the country providing more jobs than the call center industry,” he said.

Benedict Hernandez, vice president and general manager-Philippine operations of BPO firm eTelecare International Inc., last month said the call center industry employed over 70,000 employees in the Philippines and brought in $800 million in revenues in 2004.

During the Kapihan sa PIA last week, National Economic and Development Authority chief economic strategist for Region 7 Ruth Paul Cruz said President Gloria Arroyo’s Medium Term Development Plan targets the creation of 1.7 million jobs annually by 2009.

Borja said the government, both the executive and legislative branches, has been very supportive of the industry. He said the government has helped fund the industry’s promotional activities abroad.

Malacañang has also sponsored the industry’s national job fair by offering the venue for the fair.

But Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Robert Go told Sun.Star that BPOs, the contact centers specifically, have been proving jobs only to the unemployed who are educated. “Many of the unemployed are not qualified to work with BPOs or contact centers,” he said.

Go is pushing for the government to support the development of the micro, small and medium enterprises to ease the country’s unemployment rate.

As of April 2004, the unemployment rate of Central Visayas stood at 15.2 percent, higher than the 13.7 percent for the whole country.

BPO refers to the outsourcing of large companies of some of their back-office operations, such as accounting, contact center services, human resource administration and logistics, to other companies for a fee.

Aside from lobbying for legislation, Borja said the organization will also tie up with the academe to produce graduates who can meet the needs of the industry. It will also facilitate the development of the industry in areas outside Metro Manila and Cebu.

This year, Bpap will do more inbound promotions—bringing the clients into the country—than outbound promotions, which refer to joining trade fairs and exhibits abroad, so the entire country can be
promoted. (JBN)



Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph

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