Philippines to Bolster Non-Contact Center BPO Work if New Bill is Passed
February 02, 2012
While the nation waits to see what happens with pending anti-overseas outsourcing legislation for contact centers, the Philippines continues to prepare its nation to meet the BPO demands of the world.
The Philippines' Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) this week announced the training of potential call center and business-processing outsourcing (BPO) workers to make them more competitive, efficient and attuned to the demands of time, according to the Philippines Business Mirror. Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva says he sees the pending U.S. legislation regarding call center outsourcing as a challenge, and it has prompted a review and enhancement of the agency’s training regulations in the nation's call center industry. The point is to strengthen call center services the nation provides, but also prepare for the fact that call center work may dip and, as a result, be ready to emphasize non-call center BPO work.
The U.S. legislation in question is called the “U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act,” and it was designed to provide incentives to bring call centers jobs that have been outsourced back onto U.S. shores. It has support from both parties in Congress, as well as the support from the Communications Workers of America (CWA (News - Alert)) union and the stamp of approval of U.S. consumers.
If enacted, the bill would prevent companies that relocate U.S. call centers to overseas locations from receiving lucrative federal grants and loans. Businesses that move call center jobs from the U.S. to foreign shores would also be ineligible for direct or indirect federal loans, nor could they get loan guarantees for five years. If passed, consumers will be allowed to demand that their call be handled by a U.S.-based call center worker (call centers doing business in the U.S. would be required to disclose their location). In addition, the names of companies that offshore their call center work would be made available to the public in a list.
As part of a plan to strengthen the Philippines business process outsourcing industry to prepare for the impact of the bill, should it become law, Tesda says it has renewed its partnership with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) in training and certifying not only prospective call center agents and trainers, but those engaged in non-voice-based skills such as software development, animation, medical transcription, with future additions of the game development and legal transcription services.
Tesda Director General Joel Villanueva says the goal is to expand training to BPO-related and other emerging skills to minimize possible impact in case the U.S. bill is passed.
“We will review our product mix to focus on other BPO-related skills that have equally high demand such as software development and other skills as may be defined by the industry,” he said.
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Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Jamie Epstein
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