The Philippines has become one of the call-centre capitals of the world, but why is this?
by Andy Connell

5th April 2018

The simple reason is that with its young demographic profile and a progressively increasing working-age population, the Philippines has a huge human resource that when tapped into can provide a competitive edge for businesses in this age of globalisation. Combining the specialist skills and the benefit of cost-effective labour that the Philippines has to offer, it is now possible for you to tap into this invaluable workforce.

Accent Neutral

Compared to other BPO giants such as India, Filipinos speak English more fluently with a national English proficiency of 92.5% based on a report. Filipinos are also accent neutral, which is what most companies look for in their voiced-support operations. In addition, they are also exposed to American idioms and slangs, which can be accounted to the country’s education system and also Western media. This gives our call centre services a more local feel, which can be a huge advantage when supporting customers through a challenging time such as a product recall.

High Literacy Rate

With a 95% higher education literacy rate, the Philippines is producing over 450,000 graduates annually. These numbers add up to around a 38 million employment pool in the country. Among these numbers are graduates with different specialisations such as accountancy, nursing and IT. With such a diverse knowledge-based workforce, Filipinos are qualified to work on different BPO services, which can be seen as a huge advantage for investors.

Aside from that, government offices such as the Technical Education and Skills Department Authority (TESDA) also offer courses that are in line with the BPO sector requirements, specifically in the voice-support industry.

Cost-Effective Rates

Labour cost in the Philippines is generally inexpensive, with only a fraction-worth of the salaries in the Western countries. However, rates in the Philippines remain slightly higher than that of another BPO capital, India. Although this is the case, BPO companies still chose to operate in the country because of the quality of labour Filipinos provide, according to the Information Technology-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (iBPAP).

Based on a US Meta Group study, the Philippines is the top country in the world with the most skilled workers and availability of knowledge-based jobs. The same study found out that the country also ranks fourth in labour quality among the Asian nations.

Government Support

Aside from offering TESDA course, the government also shows its support to the BPO industry in various ways. For instance, the creation of the Department of Information and Communications Technology through RA 10844 was aimed to bolster the BPO sector in the country. Click here for an article.

In addition, various laws such as the Data Security Act and the revised Special Economic Zone Act were also passed to help boost the said industry. The Data Security Act, or RA 10173, aims to protect sensitive data from threats like banking details. It complies with the International Data Privacy Standard.

On the other hand, the revised Special Economic Zone Act, or RA 7916, introduces taxation-relation benefits such as four-year corporate income tax exemption, local tax and permits exemptions, duty-free import of capital equipment, and permanent residence for foreign investors. It also offers operation-related and capital-related benefits, as well as reduced area requirements for developers.

With the help of the factors above, the BPO sector in the Philippines was able to reach a milestone in just a few years. The international scene has recognized the efforts the whole nation was putting into the BPO services it provides. If this success keeps up, it is not far to reach that $48 annual revenue by 2020, as projected by experts.