Philippines is competing to become the preferred location for global outsourced
As a country, it is strategically located and the time zone allows a 24 hour
work shift compliment to the U.S. with its 12-hour time zone difference. It
is a gateway of international shipping and airlines such as FedEx and UPS. It
is accessible as well by air within four hours to any Asia capital such as Japan,
Korea, and Singapore. Companies that have partners or location in the Philippines
can maintain round-the-clock work progress. The country is very democratic and
most liberal in terms of press freedom in Asia.
The most important asset that the Philippines has to
showcase to the rest of the world is its people and is the 3rd largest english
speaking country in the world. For the US market, the Filipino entrepreneur
and knowledge worker speaks the same language, "American english",
allowing efficient work communication. The educational system of the country
was set up by the Americans when the Philippines was still a colony from
1898 up to 1945. From entering kindergarten to college, the medium of educational
instruction is American English. This resulted to the Filipinos excellent
grasp of the English language that has remained the medium of instruction
from pre-school up to post-graduate university.
More than 95% of Filipinos are Catholic and is the only Catholic dominated
country in Asia. Filipinos value college education highly and is considered
as an important legacy that a parent can give to its children. Spanish and
Asian upbringing makes the Filipino naturally hospitable, caring, peaceful,
and with a patient temperament.
The country produces 380,000 college graduates a year where close to 100,000
thousand are in the information and communications technology field. The
educational institutions in the country as well strives to remain updated
with the latest technologies in order to produce competent work force.
The Filipino worker is a seeker of job security and puts such on its top
priority. He/she puts high importance as well to career growth, has excellent
work ethic, is loyal, polite, and respectful to its superiors, flexible
in working hours and views responsibility as an opportunity to enhance knowledge.
The Filipino entrepreneur and professional is widely exposed to US culture,
business practices and style of management. Many US companies like Citibank
and IBM, among others have been operating in the country.
The government also has various initiatives and incentives to attract US
companies to put their offshore offices in the country. Cost of operating
business in the Philippines can contribute 35% to 50% cost savings compared
to US business operations cost. Although the country may not necessarily
be the cheapest in the world but offers high quality that can be relied
upon. Expatriates also finds the Philippines quality of life to be very
attractive where at present, more than 100,000 of them are living here.
Value of labor in the Philippines is not the cheapest in the region but
with the Filipino's inherent cultural advantage, it has become the preferred
The country's liberalization of its telecommunications infrastructure
also paved the way for affordable cost of Internet access and similar
facilities. T1 fiber optic lines are available from the US to the Philippines
at rates ranging from US$10,000 to US$14,0000 and DSL lines for US$600
with a connection time from 2-4 weeks.
There are at present 9 international carriers, 5 nationwide cellular operators,
5 nationwide long distance providers. The country has a capacity of 10
million phone lines where 3.5 million of such is in use. 13 million cellular
phone capacity whereas 9 million is presently in use. To add, the Philippines
is presently dubbed as the SMS text messaging capital of the world whose
volume of messages remains unsurpassed. The two largest cellular phone
companies in the Philippines are GLOBE Telecommunications and SMART Communications.
For US carrier subscribers roaming in the Philippines, Tmobile and AT&T
are both supported by the major carriers, except for Cingular network,
which is only operational within the SMART network.
Digital microwave radio system, digital fiber optic network, broadband
network is also laid out to cover almost every major city in the country.
Various access infrastructures is also available from dial-up, ISDN, TDM,
frame relay, DSL, cable modem, satellite, and cellular GPRS.
The Philippines is emerging as a specific alternative to India, due to
historical and cultural factors according to IDC Call Center Forecast
and Analysis Report (2001-2002).
Call center services done in the Philippines cover both inbound (inquiries,
help desk, technical support, payment authorization, order taking, complaints
handling, directory assistance, among others) and outbound (telemarketing,
telesurvey, telecollection, sales verification, sales dispatch, reactivation
of lapsed accounts, among others). Solutions offered include customer
relation management, partner relationship management, quality management
systems, and loyalty management programs. These are all done via phone,
fax, email, chat, and web collaboration tools.
Call center work are considered as careers by Filipinos who are now working
in these facilities. A majority of them came from prominent educational
institutions in the country and are all college graduates. The attrition
rate is less than 5% where an average call center worker last for no less
2 and a half years compared to 8 to 9 months in the US.
More than 8,000 companies have been outsourcing knowledge based work to
the Philippines such as America Online, Andersen Consulting, Barnes and
Noble, Caltex, Citibank, Fluor Daniel, Manulife, Morgan Stanley, Northwest
Airlines, Procter and Gamble, People Support, to name a few.
The country has always been utilized as well for business process outsourcing
where you'll find companies doing litigation support, scholarly publishing,
content conversion, shared services, such as Elsevier Science, Blackwell
Science, Microsoft, Nature Publishing, Lexis-Nexis, AIG, International
Red Cross, AlItalia, Great Plains Software, Fujitsu, Accenture, Headstrong,
NEC, Simteria, Trend Micro Labs, Sea Land, among others.
Creative cartoon work are also done in the Philippines such as Flinstones,
Hanna Barbera, Disney, Atlantis, Cartoon Network, Iron Giant, among others.
The Philippines is also a significant alternative choice for software
development. Its IT professionals are diverse in terms of skills covering
Cobol, DB2, CICS, VMS, Oracle, Visual Basic, C++, UML, Java, J2EE, J2ME,
EJB, EDI, XML, among other technologies. The country has more than 200
companies specializing in software, web, and wireless application development.
Office Space Cost
The rate per square meter per month in Makati, which is the central business
district of the Philippines ranges from Php300 to Php600 exclusive of
value-added tax. Parking slot rental is Php3000 per month.