DOLE optimistic on BPO resurgence in coming months

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 14) — The Labor Department expressed optimism that the country's business process outsourcing industry will flourish again as the world grapples with the COVID-19 crisis and a looming global recession.

In a statement, the agency said this optimism followed a meeting with IT-BPO industry leaders wherein they noted the sector keeps providing work opportunities amid the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic, which triggered recessions across the world, will "force" Western countries to offshore more jobs in the industry, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. A good fraction of these jobs will go to the Philippines, especially Clark, Cebu, and Metro Manila, he added.

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“We received information that some big companies have already given notice for their requirements, one of which needing at least 4,000 seats to be filled up before September," said the Labor chief.

The agency likewise noted the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) also assured companies continue to hire in order to address the industry's demand.

IBPAP, which has over 300 member firms, describes itself as the "enabling association for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry in the Philippines." The industry employs more than 1.3 million individuals, said DOLE.

DOLE added that the meeting was prompted by a recent online survey of a BPO employee group reporting four out of 10 BPO workers were either in floating or no-work-no-pay status during the lockdown.

Business process outsourcing companies are among the establishments that were allowed to operate under both enhanced (ECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ) provided they make available temporary accommodation and shuttle services for on-site workers or alternative working arrangements such as working from home.