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Philippines: Highly Competitive Business Process Outsourcing Destination*

The Philippines is fast becoming a regional and global hub for shared corporate backroom operations, especially for financial services such as accounting and bookkeeping, account maintenance, accounts receivable collection, accounts payable administration, payroll processing, asset management, financial analysis and auditing, management consulting, inventory control and purchasing, expense and revenue reporting, financial reporting, tax reporting, and other finance-related services such as financial leasing, credit card administration, factoring and stock brokering; as well as for logistics management, and cargo shipment management.

Accounting primarily for these companies’ choice of the Philippines as the location for their shared backroom operations is the country’s rich pool of low-cost yet English- and IT-proficient business, accounting, HRM and engineering graduates. These professionals are also particularly noteworthy for their marked customer service orientation, superior work ethic, high degree of trainability, flexibility, multicultural adaptability, and loyalty. Rounding up the Philippines’ advantages as a BPO destination are its strategic location, the availability of prime yet low-cost real estate in the country, its good and increasingly cost-competitive telecommunications and other business infrastructure, its expatriate-agreeable lifestyle, and its progressively IT-supportive policies and incentives.

Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Out to Reverse Skid in English Skills*

President Arroyo has set aside P600 million to upgrade the skills of teachers in English and help reverse the deterioration in the proficiency of Filipino students in the language. Sources in the Cabinet told The Manila Times Sunday that Mrs. Arroyo wants to increase the Filipinos’ competitiveness in business-processes outsourcing (BPO).

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said that the steps the President has taken to reverse the trend of poor English proficiency that stops the Philippines from becoming the global leader in BPO are:

• The allocation of approximately P600 million for the Department of Education program    to upgrade the skills of English, Science and Math teachers.

• Her reiteration that English should be the medium of instruction in Philippine schools.

• Her push for Congress, as early as 2004, to pass a law making English the medium of    instruction. Pro-administration Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu has filed a bill to that    effect.

In addition, Malacañang and education officials are keeping close tab of the department’s budget of P1 billion for textbooks to ensure that books in English especially are properly distributed and taught. Of the Department of Labor and Employment’s total P4.5 billion budget, P2.5 billion is allocated for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority which runs the scholarship program.

The Palace defended the allocation of P500 million for what the President has called “call-center finishing schools” as a well thought of decision. “Education has always been on the highest rung of priorities of the President since day one and various programs have already been initiated to arrest the overall slide in English proficiency,” Bunye said. “Our competitiveness in the business-outsourcing industry is a strategic imperative. This is important for investments and jobs as well as for the social mobility of Filipinos upward to a better future,” he added.

*news items are from published articles online, copyright belongs to the original publisher


Copyright 2006 FEED Program. All rights reserved.