In the Philippines, one among ten families is unable to put together 5,458 PHP required for their basic needs. This amount has been set as the standard by the NSCB for covering the basic requirements of a five-member family in a single month. The average Filipino income is barely sufficient to meet even basic food needs.
The working poor earns about 7,000 PHP after tax cuts, which implies that in addition to food, other basic necessities such as shelter, education, clothing and medicine have to take a backseat. However, the foray of the BPO industry into the country has come as a boon of sorts for this nation.
In 2012, the average salary of an outsourcing employee in this country stood at $9,182. The relatively high outsourcing salaries offered in this island nation have advanced the average Filipino income. The BPO industry in this nation has under its roof a wide range of operations that include animation, back-office business, call-center services, software development, digital content, and data transcription with regard to legal, medical and other fields. This has in a way contributed to the increase in consumer spending.
This vast archipelago is also one of the primary global centers for the BPO industry. It has grown at an annual rate of 46% since 2006. Towards the end of 2012, this nation had 600,000 workers across all its call centers. These operations had generated a revenue of $13 billion.
At present, this accounts for 30% of the earnings from total exports that include both services and goods. Together with overseas Filipino workers (OFW), the employees in the BPO industry come to about 13.1 million. They constitute about 32% of the labor force who bring home about $1,250 per month, which is much higher than the average Filipino income.
Shifting policies in BPO training
The Land of the Morning has witnessed a series of policies with regard to training in outsourcing operations, which have shifted priorities over time. While imparting education in core areas of the BPO industry has remained the mainstay, there has been a drastic change in the key aspects of study.
The support provided by the government has enabled educational institutions to give emphasis on courses that arm students with the necessary skills to work in the outsourcing sector. This in turn will raise the bar on the average Filipino income.
The main focus has been on creating a larger and better workforce that can fulfill the demands of the BPO industry. However, the key element of innovation has been unwittingly left out from this process.
The Filipino workers are being taught to provide just the services required by foreign companies. They are not being trained to apply innovation and changes along the way. This is an apprehensive trend that is likely to affect the growth of the Philippines BPO industry in the future.
The authorities should ensure that training courses should adopt and adapt to new developments, so that the future of the offshoring sector will not be left hanging in the balance. Making this a reality will certainly go a long way towards improving the average Filipino income, and hence the standards of living, resulting in the overall development and economic prosperity of this nation.