The Philippines has long enjoyed being known as the contact center capital of the world, generating more than US$25 billion in annual revenue pre-pandemic. However, as COVID-19 forces clients to rethink their business strategies, the county’s BPO sector has also “struggled painfully.”
Majority of the BPO industry’s employees shifted to a work-from-home (WFH) arrangement, but living conditions of workers are not conducive to a WFH model. The county’s internet infrastructure has also proven itself to be a “significant obstacle.”
Additionally, BPO workers are facing an uncertain future, as some have been placed under the “floating” status or “no work, no pay” arrangement. According to BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) President Mylene Cabalona, these workers had been denied financial aid from the government because they were not classed as unemployed.
There’s also the issue of “erratic governance,” as President Rodrigo Duterte has enacted the anti-terrorism bill “which allows for warrantless detention and surveillance of any government opponents.” Many experts have raised concerns about the measure, and such a tense climate does little to instill certainty in clients.