Ph labor dep’t. sees a resurgence of BPOs

The labor department is seeing the resurgence of the business process outsourcing industry in the coming months, with big players already posting thousands of additional seats to fill their workforce requirements.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on Sunday also said the COVID 19 pandemic and the subsequent global recession would force the West to offshore more jobs in the industry, the good size of which will go to the Philippines, notably Clark, Cebu, and Metro Manila.

The optimism followed a meeting with IT-BPO industry leaders, where officials noted that the industry continues to provide employment opportunities amid the pandemic.

“We received information that some big companies have already given notice for their requirements, one of which needing at least 4,000 seats before September,” Bello said.

Rey Untal, president and chief executive officer of the IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) confirmed the labor chief’s optimism, who said companies continue to hire to fill the industry’s demands. IBPAP, which counts the most prominent players in the country among its more than 300 members, is the enabling association for the industry in the Philippines, which employs over 1.3 million employees.

“The industry indeed continues to hire (despite the pandemic),” Untal told labor officials in a meeting over the weekend.

A recent online survey of a BPO employees’ group, which reported that four out of 10 BPO workers are either floating or ‘no-work-no-pay’ status during the lockdown, prompted the meeting.

Untal said his group is taking the initiative to intervene and discuss the issues raised by the workers with the country heads of concerned BPO companies.

DOLE, which has issued several guidelines for employers to protect jobs and prevent layoffs and retrenchments, is also appealing to the employees, who are still on a leave of absence, to return to work to help the industry continuously provide services in these difficult times.