Manila - I believe that as early as the year 2000 when the Y2k IT computer failure (millenium bug ) started and was dreaded by most businesses here in the Philippines and all over the world, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has already began its new era of globalization.
Since the widespread news of effects of the dreaded Y2k IT computer failure way before the year 2000 which was believed to have the capabilities to shut down many businesses around the world, Philippines have anticipated it’s might. In fact, our country is one of the first one to look for the possible antidotes and cure to the said failure which can only be felt if you have IT industries supported by computers and businesses relying in the said technology. It is also the time we started seeing posts in major industries and businesses as saying “Y2K READY”. Remember?
Now has anyone ever wondered why? It is, i guess, simply because the Philippines during that time is already engaged in the cyber battle on related technologies in businesses, though not as up to date as the more industrialized countries like the United States of America. Still we can assume on this basis that globalization has taken its toll and reached an initial effect in our country. This occurrence is the best sign to consider on this matter.
Therefore we can proudly say that during those times, the boom in the industry of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) already hit the human resources reserve here in the Philippines. This serves as a clue that we have come to a point where the major role players in the said industry is already tapping the advantages of cost-related and cost-efficient services due to cheaper labor in outsourcing venues. This is not including the high manageability of human resources especially in the Philippines where English proficiency and professional inclination is not as hard to learn and not a problem at any instance being the third most efficient English-speaking country in the world.
This year, a significant increase in the need for human resources for the Outsourcing Industry alone has emerged to be both high and in demand. Take for example the many call centers that has nested by the numbers like mushrooms in the past 3 or 4 years. Most call center companies i heard even offer incentives for their employees just by finding and referring new recruits. I myself had been a referred applicant in the field. This is in that specific field alone which any investor can choose from in the many other relates in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
Years before as we all know, the IT - related industry, specially outsourcing, is only and exclusively being handled by either low or middle-income earning Americans as what we most see in many offices and businesses. This is because of the trend in business both by foreign and local that they are far even better as IT workers than we are. Now the tide is starting to turn around since those so-called industrialized countries like the U.S. and Europe is greatly relying and dependent on outsourcing services from India, Philippines, China, and other Asian countries. They have become more trusting to locals also and a few are lucky to fill up spaces of jobs that are occupied only by them before. In line to this, many big companies in the U.S. had declared that they cannot live without outsourcing because a significant part of their income comes from the savings they get through outsourcing services.
The executive director of Business Processing Association of the Philippines Mr. Mitchell Locsin said that the IT industry is currently employing some 245,000 people where 68% of which is involved in call center related work (this is one field of outsourcing only). That last 2005 alone, the industry’s total revenues reached a high of US$ 2.4 billion, almost doubling the 2004 data which is at US$ 1.5 billion (data from an article in Asia Times Online Copyright 2006).
To this date, shortage in availablity of fluent English speakers are being monitored due to the different rising speculations that English proficiency has greatly declined in the Philippines. Some of the causes of such shortages are pointing to factors like the excessive use of slang words learned through television which most of the youth are incorporating in original Tagalog dialect, the use of abbreviated words in cell phones which is very popular in almost all age levels and mostly in students who unconsciously divert true intellectual English learning into nonsense.
Luckily, the government has optimistically anticipated these alarming problems and has immediately invested in throwing bigger budgets for outsourcing industry trainings. One relevantly good example here is the existent offers by local municipalities to train students interested in IT related jobs and offering free trainings for medical transcriptioning, basic programming, computer secretarial (with excel word and power point), call center related jobs and pooling them out through on-the-job trainings. My wife is actually enrolled in one of these schemes by the government.
As the availability of outsourcing contracts and jobs pour out in the Philippines this coming year, expect the fast growth to be anticipated by the government and turn the table to be the number one dollar-earning industry to invest in. For the government to prosper in terms of human resources and revenues.
The tremendous growth in outsourcing in the Philippines truly has emerged so powerful to change the present status of our country from unemployment to shortage of human resources for Business Process Outsourcing - related jobs.