BPO sector seeks government support in promoting RP as offshore destination

Published by rudy Date posted on January 22, 2009

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry needs the support of the government especially in the promotion of the country as a good offshoring destination, the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) said.

“This year will be a busy year for us in terms of attracting new investors,” BPAP president Oscar Sanez said in an interview.

Sanez said they are intensifying their efforts to get more BPO centers to locate in the Philippines as they aim to grow the industry. The 2010 BPO roadmap targets to create one million jobs for the industry by 2010.

However, Sanez said the BPAP cannot do it alone. “We need the support of the government especially for our marketing missions,” Sanez noted.

For this year, the BPAP’s target revenue is $7 billion. Last year, the industry earned $5 billion. By 2010, revenues are expected to hit $12 billion.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the BPO industry will grow by 20 percent to 30 percent for this year alone.

DTI said this is a good time to promote the BPO industry because the financial crisis has caused US based and European firms to look for ways to cut costs. He said locating some of their businesses in places with cheaper costs is a good way to save.

In fact, investments in the BPO sector will receive tax breaks and other incentives from the government after it has been identified as one of the anchors of the Philippine economy.

“The BPO players buoyed the Philippine economy through volatile economic patterns in the last eight years,” DTI Undersecretary Elmer C. Hernandez said.

In fact, Hernandez said the BPO sector is one of the prime foreign exchange earners next to remittances from the OFWs.

Last year, the Board of Investments (BOI) has already included BPO investments in the Investments Priorities Plan (IPP) under selected export services.

“With this recognition, BPO-oriented investments could prospectively be rendered fiscal and non-fiscal incentives,” Hernandez added.

The BOI is looking at building a highly competitive business environment to attract and increase profitability while providing a stable policy framework for long-term economic benefits. Coupled with service quality and efficiency, this strategy makes the local service providers even more viable.

The BPO industry is expecting big investments from the banking and finance as the BPO sector branches out from the usual call center activities.

“Right now the trend is more investments from the banking and finance. It is a captive sector,” Sanez said. He said right now the big part of the industry is made up of call centers. However, he said the plan is to move into more specialized high value operations.–Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, Philippine Star

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