The Philippines is the global epicentre for BPO, providing over 1.4 million jobs and an annual income of approximately AU$30 billion. It is safe to say that the country has an advantage, or several, over competing countries vying for part of the call centre outsourcing market. But what sets the Philippines apart and makes it so advantageous for companies to outsource their call centres there?
Many widely discussed benefits make the Philippines attractive, largely the fact that English is widely spoken, living and labour costs are low and customer service is frequently commended as excellent, with high customer satisfaction scores for companies who use the Philippines to outsource their call centres. However, these are advantages that many other competing countries hold, as well, despite the high pressures that the Philippines puts on its workers that they excel in all these fields. They are certainly advantages, but not the only ones that are key to making the Philippine BPO industry stand out.
One of the additional advantages that make the Philippines different from its competitors is the fact that the government is incredibly supportive of the industry and its workers. Not only does the Filipino government provide tax holidays and tax breaks for businesses who choose to set up contact centre outsourcing in the Philippines and ensure that data used is legally protected from unauthorised access and technological faults, but also that the workers themselves are protected.
In the Philippines, call centre workers are entitled to life insurance, paid holidays and national days, paid sick leave, flexible work schedules, and a dress code, which means they are likely to stay in jobs longer, and typically have access to a clearer path of career development to managerial roles and beyond than their counterparts in other countries. As a result, employees are typically retained for longer and help to grow the business further thanks to the knowledge of experience that they bring with them, which positively impacts the business as a whole in the overseas home country. Beyond the government encouragement and support, many companies additionally offer professional training with financial support for upskilling and telecommuting options.
Wages for BPO employees in the Philippines are also higher than in other sectors in the country, and higher than the wages of those BPO employees in countries with similarly low costs of living such as India. The average BPO salary in the Philippines is ₱315,000 (approx. 6027 USD) per year compared to ₹324932 in India (approx. 4261 USD), allowing for a better standard of worker living in the Philippines, while still being affordable to the majority of businesses who are outsourcing their operations to the Philippines.
Ultimately, the combination of high English fluency, high levels of worker and customer satisfaction, and the strong government support for the BPO industry gives the Philippines key competitive advantages that other countries lack, making the Philippine BPO industry desirable for many western or English-speaking businesses who want to outsource their contact centres to overseas destinations as a means of lowering their expenses.