MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The Philippines has partnered with Silicon Valley-based Plug and Play to safeguard its crucial Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector from the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) signed an agreement with Plug and Play to launch the Horizon Philippines Program, which aims to future-proof the BPO industry along with migrant workers and electronics manufacturing.
But Plug and Play co-founder Jojo Flores warned that computers might replace the industry’s human workforce as AI advances.
To get ahead of this risk, the partnership will support local startups in developing AI products tailored to integrate automation into BPOs. This proactive approach can ensure the resilient growth of the sector and the wider services economy.
Flores said the program will also catalyze an intellectual property-based economy by connecting startups with investors to create new IP locally rather than waiting for foreign solutions.
While Plug and Play will leverage international funding, Flores stressed telling the Philippine startup story to attract more investment into the ecosystem.
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy affirmed the government’s commitment to providing an enabling environment through partnerships that apply global expertise to build local capabilities.