The BPO industry will most likely recover by early 2018 after a “rebalancing” period arising from a deemed escalation of “country risk” in the current administration, property veteran David Leechiu said.
“That’s primarily because many of their clients perceive that country risk profile of the Philippines is climbing. So, it’s important to make sure that they know that these country risk issues are not new. There have always been relevant, meaningful country risk issues in the Philippines since maybe the 1960s and companies have learned to adapt,” Leechiu said.
Leechiu said that some BPO operators were choosing to go for more expensive countries to “divert” from the Philippines as part of their risk diversification strategy.
When asked to elaborate on the “country risks”, Leechiu mentioned terrorism as part as well as other cases in Batangas and Mindanao.
The BPO industry is also hopeful that there wouldn’t be too many changes that might hinder their expansion.
“But I remain confident that the BPO industry will continue to expand. This phase that we’re going through with them will be temporary. At the end of the day, history has shown that companies will find a way to overcome the issues that we have here and they will be back,” Leechiu said.
The last time that there was a “rebalancing” was during Macapagal-Arroyo’s time.
Meanwhile, there are also some big names that will enter the Philippine BPO industry for the first time, with discussions ongoing on their prospective lease contracts, according to Leechiu. Also, Leechiu said that other industries are making up for the lack of growth in the BPO sector.