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Our Commentary on the Recent Events in the Philippines

In the wake of the recent escalation of violence in the Philippines, including the awful events that just took place a few days ago at Resorts World Manila, I thought I should provide my own personal commentary as the CEO of Golden Gate BPO Solutions, a company and team who has been very active in the country since 1999.  We have a great team of people that work with us in the Philippines, and I have a nervous pit in my stomach thinking about them in light of what just occurred.

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As contact center and outsourcing professionals, we all know that the Philippines has been a key country for some amazing contact center delivery supporting the US market over the past twenty years.  It is also important to recognize that each international market, no matter how strong in terms of value, has ebbs and flows regarding attractiveness.  And, unfortunately, government stability and personal safety can sometimes change on a dime.

I am proud that our organization continues to drive strong quality customer care from our facilities in the Philippines, and we remain committed to doing so.  And, as clients come to grips with the latest developments, we will respond accordingly to their preferences for delivery destination.

There are many strong points with regards to using the Philippines as a contact center delivery location for the US.  The quality of spoken English, the affinity of Philippine agents with American consumers and the overlaps in commercial / popular culture between both countries are some of the most important.  Despite the distance and awkward time zones, it has remained one of the top countries in the world for the delivery of English-language services.  But, over recent months, it has been hard to ignore some of the country’s challenges.

Prior to last week’s tragedy in Manila, we have felt and noticed more worries related to the political situation since the Philippines’ administration chose to take a different orientation on several policy areas.  At the same time, public security matters have been bubbling under the surface for a while. And while most of these events have taken place in the provinces, for many what just occurred in Manila really hit home.

In several instances, international contact center delivery is sourced from locations in which there is some degree of instability - economic, political or public security-related.  As BPO executives and proponents, we need to recognize that for many of our clients, the weight of instability is much heavier than the economic benefits.  I expect that after the recent tragedy in Manila, many enterprise executives are likely to deem the Philippines too risky for ongoing offshore deployments.  Despite this current situation and perhaps some time for a pause, my own view is that the reasons discussed above which made this country an attractive delivery point have not changed.  This is why long-term the Philippines is still integral to Golden Gate BPO’s multi-shore strategy.

However, as an outsourcer I also understand the point of view among my own clients who will possibly be examining other English-speaking options given the ongoing concerns surrounding the Philippines.  With that, Golden Gate BPO will ensure that each enterprise with which we are lucky enough to partner has the right delivery solution in place, including conforming to their tolerance for risk and security.

If we can help address any specific questions or elaborate further around the recent events in the Philippines and its impact on the outsourcing industry, please feel free to contact us directly here.

Written by Stephen B. Ferber