- Category: Opinion
01 Oct 2013
- Written by Lito U. Gagni
IN three years, the Philippines’s business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which is seen to double its revenues to $20 billion, may yet exceed its own growth projections with the launch of the $400-million South-East Asia Japan Cable (SJC) system. The SJC would give the country’s marketability for the outsourcing of non-core jobs from multinationals a competitive edge with its 8,900-kilometer cable system that links Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and the Philippines.
This is precisely what President Aquino said of the cable project in a speech at its Philippine launch at Globe Telecom’s headquarters in Fort Bonifacio last week. The project—wherein Globe is a consortium member—would “help provide the nation [with] seamless and reliable connectivity,” the President said. This would translate to more BPO contracts than what the industry had in mind when it drew a road map that sees $20 billion in revenues and 1.5 million jobs in 2016.
The possibilities for more business for the BPO industry arise from the fact that the SJC would provide additional bandwidth to Asia and support future applications and next-generation technologies that boost its competitive edge. Another factor is the investment of US information-technology (IT) giant Google Inc., through its subsidiary Google SJC Bermuda Ltd., in the consortium.
In this interconnected world, where big conglomerates in the US and other countries bring their non-core business to offshore countries, such as the Philippines, to cut costs and free their financial and human capital, thereby raising their revenue potential, the SJC augurs well for the Philippines’s plan to be the first country of choice for those that outsource their work.
After all, the Philippine BPO industry has been adjudged as the “most attractive global provider of IT-BPO services in Asia” by an Economist survey. The SJC comes at an opportune time as India tries to regain its previous BPO strength; China looms in the horizon; and Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia attempt to duplicate the Philippines’s feat.
In fact, the World Bank sees the sector to contribute substantially to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), as it sees employment in the sector to grow to almost 2 million in 2020, accounting for about 11 percent of GDP. The BPO, together with the remittances of the country’s 10 million overseas Filipino workers, accounted for the stable-outlook rating that the Philippines got from credit-rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, which resulted in lower interest rates for Philippine bonds.
The SJC “bodes well for the industries here that are banking on improved communications capacities,” the President said. In fact, “it reinforces our position as leaders in the BPO industry; and it becomes another selling point for growing fields, such as medical transcription, engineering services and animation, among others,” he added. The optimism the President expressed also goes beyond business.
Mr. Aquino said what the cable project “promises goes beyond infrastructure; it promises to make the Philippines—a country with 10 million overseas workers—a country even more closely knit than before.” Also, the project enhances the government’s capabilities to serve its people, as the cable system broadens access to government services such as Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), where anyone can access the volume of rainfall in a given community.
Thus, the country is not just well-positioned to benefit immensely from the cable project, where Globe Telecom and its partner Singapore Telecom have stakes, but the non-business side of the enhanced interconnectivity will massage egos and soothe frayed nerves of those OFWs who constitute the Filipino diaspora.
‘Designing Your Life’ seminar
A “Designing Your Life” seminar for up-and-coming performers and other artists will be held at the MKP Multipurpose Hall of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) on Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The seminar will be conducted by Dr. Bethel Schnitzlein, an Austria-based Filipino educator, social worker, musician, counselor and life coach.
The seminar aims to help people craft their personal and professional life by directing life’s controllable aspects, making the right choices and not letting things happen by chance.
Schnitzlein has a PhD in Education (Educational History and Philosophy), a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Social Work from the University of the Philippines. She also has a master’s degree in Church Music from the Western Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon.
As an educator, social worker and musician, Schnitzlein has a unique background that enables her to have a special sensitivity to people and real-life situations, as well as the artistic and creative skill to effectively teach and communicate to her audience. She is a licensed professional counselor in Austria. The seminar fee is P100.