Philippines outsourcing firms hit by Trump and ‘Trump East’

10-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Julius Guevara, head of research at Colliers Philippines, said while US investors were concerned about Duterte and Trump, firms that are already in the Philippines are unlikely to leave.

“If it’s more profitable for them to continue having operations here in the Philippines, I don’t think Trump can do anything about it,” he said.

Charito Plaza, an ally of the president and director general of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, said Duterte would ask Trump to be kind to US firms looking at the Philippines.

But it wasn’t clear if Duterte did that when the two spoke last Friday. Duterte said he felt a rapport with Trump and “assured him of our ties”.

But the only policy issue Duterte mentioned afterwards was his drugs crackdown, which he said Trump understood.


Policy makers have been banking on BPO overtaking remittances as the mainstay of one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

The BPO sector’s recent growth plan said it wasn’t Trump or Duterte that posed the biggest challenge to the industry but automation.

The plan aims to boost mid- to high-skilled labour from 53 percent of the workforce to 73 percent by 2022 to meet that challenge. That would push annual incomes from $19,100 to $21,600 with jobs that diversify beyond voice services and focus on higher-value IT support.

Economic planning minister, Ernesto Pernia, told Reuters he was optimistic the Philippines’ competitive costs and services would insulate its BPO sector from Trump, and the BPO jobs that Filipinos do might not appeal to Americans.

Duterte’s talk shouldn’t be taken too seriously, either, Pernia said.

“I think investors should listen to the economic planners and not the president,” he said.


Category: Philippines

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