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Philippine Outsourcing Trade Group Needs More Professionals*

Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) president Dan Reyes said he and the other executives of BPAP are mainly affiliated with the different outsourcing firms that make up the organization's membership.

"We need professionals to run the organization. We will have [something] like a BPO Philippines Inc. The growth ahead presents opportunities for the Philippines , which we cannot ignore," he said.

In the next few years, the BPAP needs to develop a "systematic way" to capture more demand and find more outsourcing opportunities beyond just contact center services, he added.

The outsourcing industry is one of the bright spots in the Philippine economy. It is expected to employ about 266,000 people in the developing Southeast Asian country, surging from just about 2,000 five years ago, according to a Reuters report.

The number is likely to hit nearly 1.1 million by 2010, according to BPAP figures quoted by Reuters.


Call Centers are Welcome but Philippines Need More Jobs*

This year, the outsourcing sector is expected to employ about 266,000 people in the developing Southeast Asian country, surging from just about 2,000 five years ago. The number is likely to hit nearly 1.1 million by 2010, according to the Business Processing Association Philippines. But with call centers hiring just three to five people for every 100 applicants -- a reflection of the declining quality of education in the Philippines -- some analysts say the industry is far from the cure for the country's unemployment problem.

"Of course, it will generate jobs but the majority of our unemployed don't have adequate skills," said Emmanuel Esguerra, associate professor at the University of the Philippines ' School of Economics .

Education is Key

Esguerra said only a quarter of the 3-4 million Filipinos without work -- the number depends on the government's new or old definition of unemployment -- had more than a high school education. Quality of labor is a major issue facing the Philippines , where budget deficits and the government's debt of about $76 billion have limited state spending on basic education.

Patricia Sto. Tomas, who recently quit as labor secretary, said Manila had set aside 500 million pesos ($9.5 million) to retrain "near hires" in the outsourcing industry -- those needing more computer training or English-language skills to get a job.

Despite President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's vow in 2004 to create 1-1.5 million jobs every year until the end of her term in 2010, progress remains slow in an economy driven by remittances, domestic demand and exports of electronics and farm products.

*news items are from published articles online, copyright belongs to the original publisher
 

 
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