BPO industry welcomes Obama win despite anti-outsourcing threat

MANILA, Philippines - Despite his campaign against outsourcing, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) welcomed the reelection of US President Barack Obama.

In a statement, BPAP President and CEO Benedict Hernandez said local outsourcing firms will continue supporting US firms to make them more competitive and profitable.

"While there has been speculation that anti-outsourcing legislation may be revisited, the Philippine IT-BPO industry will continue to support the US economy and American businesses to help ensure they are among the most competitive in the world while freeing up resources to create more jobs in the US," he said.

There are fears that with Obama's second term, talks on the passage of a bill that seeks to eliminate tax breaks for US companies outsourcing services and manufacturing jobs to other countries will be revived.

The bill titled "Bring Jobs Home Act" was blocked by Republican senators, who hit the measure for substantive and procedural problems.

BPAP is hopeful Obama will recognize the benefits that outsourcing give American companies.

"Outsourcing business services to the Philippines helps make American companies more competitive and profitable. Profitable companies hire more workers, both here and in the US," Hernandez said.

"Outsourcing is a win-win proposition, and we believe that both American and Philippine companies—and American and Filipino workers—will continue to benefit from the opportunities it provides," he added.

Hernandez said studies have shown that outsourcing has little negative impact on jobs, and, in fact, fosters job growth in some companies.

"Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business economist Matthew Slaughter, in a study of the hiring practices of 2,500 US multinationals, found that for every job outsourced, nearly two new jobs are created in the US," Hernandez said.

From a $35-billion global IT-BPO market in 2009, the industry is expected to generate at least $220 billion in revenues globally this year, according to a report by the Everest Group.

In 2011, the Philippines’ IT-BPO industry generated more than $11 billion in revenues and employed almost 640,000 Filipinos. By 2016, it is expected to grow to $25 billion in annual revenues and employ 1.3 million, according to an industry road map.

"Demand for global IT-BPO services is huge and continues to expand at a rapid rate," Hernandez said.

BPAP is the umbrella association for the IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Center) industry in the Philippines. - Rappler.com