THE Philippines will still attract US business process outsourcing (BPO) firms despite US President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance because BPO firms locating here and the US leader’s rhetoric are not necessarily contradictory to each other, a property sector executive said.
Jericho Go, senior vice president of Megaworld Corp., said the Philippines will still see a large presence of US BPO firms because international BPO firms see their Philippine operations as “complementing” their whole business while allowing them large savings and value for money ventures due to the quality workers they get here.
“Trump bringing back jobs to the US, it’s not contradictory to us. When Trump listed the industries where they wanted jobs to go back to them, BPO is not one of them… We don’t steal their jobs; we complement them. We say: ‘If you don’t want to do certain types of jobs, let us do it’,” Go told reporters Friday last week.
Megaworld is a leading developer of office towers in the country with about 99 percent occupancy rate in its office buildings, mostly from the BPO sector.
Go said that like the US, the Philippines also wants to bring back its workers to the country by offering them quality jobs such as the ones offered by BPO firms.
He said American BPO firms that up offices in the country are able to save as much as “80 percent” of costs compared to putting up operations in the US, given the disparity in wages of American and Filipino workers.
He said an average BPO worker in the US gets paid $1,500 to $2,000 monthly, which compares to the P15,000 starting pay of a Filipino BPO agent that equates to about only $300 per month.
Even if the savings derived from the cheaper labor cost here is reduced, depending on how much the Trump administration taxes US firms locating outside the US, American firms opening BPO offices still stand to make substantial cost savings, according to Go.
Property developer Megaworld specializes in office space development but also has residential, malls, industrial estates and township developments.
From 2015 to 2019, the company has programmed P285.8 billion for capital expenditures.
Megaworld is owned and operated by businessman Andrew Tan under umbrella holding firm Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI), which holds Tan’s various businesses in spirits and brandy making (Emperador Inc.), McDonald’s local franchise (Golden Arches Development Corp.) and resorts and casino operations (Resorts World Manila operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc.).