Call center, IT-BPM key priority in the unified brand campaign
Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez has assured the contact center sector and all IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) of the government’s continued support as the country moves on the path to economic recovery.
Speaking to stakeholders at the Contact Islands 2021 virtual conference, Lopez said the industry is among the key priorities of the “Make It Happen in the Philippines” campaign.
He recognized the strength and resilience of IT-BPM throughout the crisis, citing its success in maintaining the country’s position as the destination of choice and the outsourcing capital of the world.
“We were pleased to observe that as early as the third quarter of last year and despite the restrictions and lockdowns of Covid-19, the contact center industry had already shown signs of recovery by the end of 2020 “said Lopez. “Your sector has already shown modest growth which is gradually increasing over the previous months. “
The “Make It Happen in the Philippines” campaign is the unified national branding campaign of investment promotion agencies in the Philippines to promote the country as an investment destination.
Besides the IT-BPM sector, the campaign will also include the electronics, automotive, aerospace and copper sectors.
At the same conference, the Chairman of the Interagency Working Group for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), Karlo Alexei Nograles, also acknowledged the collaboration between government and industry IT-BPM in these difficult times.
“The IT-BPM sector continues to be the largest generator of jobs in the country, creating over 1.32 million direct jobs and over four million indirect jobs,” he said.
Nograles added that the industry’s growth prospects are in line with the government’s efforts to create jobs.
“We are counting on the industry to open up more job opportunities and develop in the countryside. Filipino workers continue to compete in the global market as part of the crucial and lasting transition to the new normal, ”he said.
The President of the Association of Contact Centers of the Philippines (CCAP), Benedict Hernandez, highlighted the most crucial support provided by the government to IT-BPM companies.
“Our industry classified as ‘critical’ at the onset of the pandemic has been critical in protecting our ability to continue to support our customers and keep our employees employed,” he said.
The government has adjusted protocols to allow for more work-from-home arrangements in the sector. Through the Interagency Fiscal Incentive Review Board, the extension of such configurations up to 90 percent of the sector’s workforce had been approved.
The Ministry of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have also deferred the BIR Revenue Regulation 09-2021 which imposes a 12% VAT on the transactions of exporters.
To support the continued growth of the industry, Hernandez stressed the need for the right policy frameworks at the present time.
“Our political framework must be just as agile and dynamic. Right now, many of our policies are outdated or slow to change, or don’t necessarily reflect what’s happening with IT-BPM around the world. We need a policy framework that can be as dynamic as the needs of the industry, ”Hernandez said, adding that the impact of the pandemic on the functioning of the sector“ is changing so fast ”.
He also stressed that the industry needs a long-term solution to the hybrid setup.
In addition, Hernandez also spoke of the need for the country to boost the development of its infrastructure. As telecom carriers ramped up the fiber connection to the home, Hernandez said there was a lot more catching up to do due to the rapid transfer of data traffic to the home.
“What we need is infrastructure in the Philippines to enable its people to be more productive,” he said.
CCAP is made up of 130 member companies, employing at least 800,000 workers in the IT-BPM space. (KOC)