BPO Investments for the First Half of 2017 Down 35%
There is a decrease in the number of investments made in the BPO industry in the Philippines. During the first five months of 2016, it was P10.88 billion. This year, only P7.08 billion came in. It has decreased almost 1/3 or 35%. Moreover, last year, there were 103 projects approved but this year only 87 were approved.
Many fear that the drop was because of AI or artificial intelligence. AI is now used worldwide in the BPO industry and the BPO companies in the Philippines are scared that it might take over. However, an expert in the IT-BPM investments said it was likely due to the political uncertainty in the country.
Data Privacy Act To Possibly Increase Philippines’ Global BPO Rank
There is a big chance that the Data Privacy Act of 2012 will help the Philippines climb up the global BPO ladder. The country will definitely become more enticing for the international companies with this Act.
According to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), other countries will prefer the Philippines more because the Act states that all BPO firms in the Philippines have to protect the information and personal data of their clients. Because of this, many foreign investors will resort to the country for their outsourcing services.
Moreover, not only the 2012 Act will help the country but also the Republic Act 10173. It will let the Philippines handle other countries’ requirement about data privacy laws in their respective countries. It will boost the country’s investments and economy, said Espie Bulseco, Learning Series Task Force lead of the CCAP Security Council and senior director for Business Excellence at Hinduja Global Solutions.
BPO Firms’ Tax Perks Remain
According to the Department of Finance, the tax perks that BPO companies enjoy will not be removed. The DOF said that all foreign BPO companies within the special economic zones (SEZs) will still be exempted from the value-added tax (VAT) that the government will implement. Also, the DOF said it will also be true especially for those BPO firms that are registered with the Board of Investments.
Furthermore, the current administration’s tax reform program is there for limiting the exporters and the so called “indirect exporters” said Karl Kendrick T. Chua, Finance Undersecretary. There is nothing to fear about the BPO industry and its growth in the country, Chua added.