The Business Process industry in the Philippines is worth $25 billion, as of 2016. It is second only to foreign remittances in terms of the forex it brings in.
But that may change. It is projected that the BPO industry will be the top foreign exchange earner by the end of 2017.
In 2000, there were about four contact centers in Manila that handled calls, hiring some 2,400 workers in all.
Today, the industry has 1.2 million Filipinos assisting their clients from all over the world. They provide high-value services such as accounting, software development, animation, graphics design, engineering consultancy and so on.
Arnie V. Villarta is one of those who has benefited from the boom. Hailing from a family of farmers, it was his elder brother, a BPO employee, who put him through college. Eru, as he is called, too joined one of the business process outsourcing companies in Manila, Philippines after he finished his studies. However, he found life in Manila tiring. A five-kilometer commute would take two hours each way, and so he looked elsewhere. Interestingly, he found a job with a BPO company in Iloilo city. His new job gives him more time and freedom to paint.