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RP is window to Asia-Pacific outsourcing industry
ComputerWorld - March 30, 2006
by April B. Rojales

THE Philippines, as a destination for offshore investments, never looked better as it does now. No longer capitalizing on human resource alone, the country now has all the facilities to support an outsourcing industry—be it for contact centers, for software developers, for data transcriptionists, for animation houses, or for engineers.

While the quality human resource pool is what made the country an attractive offshore contact center in the first place, it is just the tip of the iceberg in the country’s outsourcing edge. A study conducted by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development (IIMD) revealed that—among 60 countries in the Asia-Pacific region—the Philippines ranked first in the availability of skilled workers, out of a total labor force of 33 million.

The country also ranked third in the availability of senior managers; ranked fourth in the availability of IT professionals; ranked 10th in the availability of accounting and financial skills; ranked 10th in the availability of expatriate middle management; and ranked 12th in qualified engineers.

Reliable infrastructure support and the strategic location of the Philippines are also major factors that play a part in making the Philippines a window to the business process outsourcing industry in Asia-Pacific.

Although the IIMD findings show that the labor force is the country’s BPO competitive edge, the Philippines also boasts of reliable infrastructure support. Assistant vice president and business head of the corporate group of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Katrina Luna-Abelarde said that the country has a stable power supply with excess capacity over current demand, and a redundant international connectivity that could support offshore businesses.

“We have an expanding multimedia infrastructure that offers 24/7, 365 days support. We have a deregulated telecommunications industry that is stable, robust, and highly scalable. We also have a presence of dedicated IT parks right in the center of business districts,” said Luna-Abelarde.

Optimal real-estate options are also available in the country. Some of the international property management companies like FPD Savills, CB Richard Ellis, and Colliers offer low rates with liberal lease agreement terms.

Another factor in the Philippine advantage is its strategic location in Asia. “The country is reachable by air within four hours from any Asian capital—Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, and Beijing,” said Luna-Abelarde.

Attractive investment incentives also boost the country’s advantage. Luna-Abelarde cites the four to eight years’ income tax holiday (ITH) as one of the examples. “We also have a special 5% tax rate after the lapse of ITH for ecozone locators. We have a tax and duty exemption on imported capital equipment,” she added.

Luna-Abelarde also stressed the importance of strong government support in the country’s BPO industry. “We have a Commission on Information and Communications Technology, a national agency on ICT focused on policy planning. We have the e-commerce law, an intellectual property code, and a public telecoms law”.


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Mile Long Building 316

Legaspi Village

Amorsolo Street

Makati City

Telephone: 8941441

TeleFax: 8124296












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