The Philippine IT- business process management (IT-BPM) industry was not expected to thrive due to the strict lockdown guidelines implemented for more than two months. The sector is now seeing a ray of hope as companies here and abroad turn to outsource and offshoring to cut costs during this pandemic. A multinational BPO company with 21 sites in the Philippines expected slow growth with less man-power and slow production. However, they saw this as an opportunity to offer more services as the global financial crisis created a way to outsource non-core functions.
The country has built a good reputation when it comes to outsourcing. It has become one of the top destinations for offshoring especially in IT and customer service. This was also backed up as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and other partners launched the Digital City 2025. This project aims to develop 25 cities all over the Philippines to become highly developed outsourcing destinations. The innovation will redirect outsourcing opportunities towards the countryside. Workers will be upskilled and trained to be suited for work and investment needs.
Jobs outside the BPO industry will be offered as well due to the initiative of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). It aims to employ displaced workers and repatriated Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). According to PEZA, they are to provide 100,00 jobs during their job fair last Monday, July 12. The PEZA board furthermore approved of a 2-Billion-Peso worth of investments into 27 projects that would generate 3,694 jobs. Work offers are in information technology and BPO industries, manufacturing, and the creative sector, especially in graphic design.
Qatari investors through the PEZA initiative are also eyeing opportunities from the Philippine ecozone. “Capital cities of the world” will be put in one of the local ecozones. PEZA Director General Charito B. Plaza said that the investor can build a “City of Doha” in the islands. it will feature landmarks of Doha with its best hotels as if Doha were situated in the Philippines. Plaza also highlighted the potential of the mining industry which according to experts has an estimated $1 Trillion in reserves of copper, gold, nickel, zinc, and silver.
The pandemic might have slowed down the impending growth if the country. But not all its growth has stopped, others managed to thrive and slowly rise. This is an assurance that the country will offer more and more jobs for those who have lost theirs in the battle against COVID-19. The Philippines is still open for business and will rise above this pandemic.