US govt shutdown may impact BPOs

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The Information Technology-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (Ibpap) said on Wednesday that despite it being “too early to say,” the recent United States government shutdown will have a “potential effect” on the contact centers and health care segment of the business process outsourcing (BPO) volumes in the Philippines.

Jose Mari Mercado, Ibpap chief executive and president, told reporters during the opening of Capital One Financial Corp.’s BPO hub at Alabang, Muntinlupa City, that in terms of business volume, the US government shutdown can cause “potential impact” on the contact centers and health care segments of the industry.

“From the perspective of impact to business, definitely we see potential impact in terms of volumes, so you have less people transacting. There are [a number of]laid off workers—imagine these people wouldn’t able to buy anything, they are not transacting,” he said.

“Primarily, the health care and the contact center are potentially affected. If we just look at it in a logical perspective, there is an impact but as to how much, we don’t know yet,” he added, saying that it is too early to jump into assumptions and conclusions as the shutdown is just entering its second day.


“I think it is too early to tell. As an industry, we are definitely looking at it. We’re going to ensure that we have enough plans to mitigate any negative impact, which I doubt. But we don’t have any plans yet as of the moment,” Mercado said.

“It will be at least another month before you see the impact because fluctuations are so varied. You can’t tell. It’s too early to say and to make any conclusions within the first couple of weeks is premature. There are too many factors that can affect the volume,” he added.

On the brighter side, Mercado noted that business volumes for the industry surges by 20 percent to 25 percent in November to the yearend yearly, as holidays increase and the Yuletide season draws near.

“Traditionally, when we get to November time frame, that’s when we usually get an increase in volume because you have succession of holidays that potentially can generate core volumes,” Mercado said.

Ibpap is still targeting $25 billion in revenues and direct job generation of 1.5 million by 2016.

Kristyn Nika M. Lazo

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