San Pedro: Business Continuity Plan-A A +A
Check and Balance
Sunday, August 19, 2012
DURING the monsoons, most of the businesses in the country closed shop in the face of rising floodwaters, rendering crucial operations of global outsourcing off-line.
The United States and other European countries have been relying on the availability of high-skilled and educated Filipino workforce plus the lower costs of doing business in the country.
No wonder why BPOs mushroomed in the Clark Freeport Zone and elsewhere. But in times of crisis just like what we had experienced a week ago, there should be a “business continuity plan” that will keep BPOs “online” come hell or high water. The absence of it will prompt BPOs to rethink their presence here.
The BPO sector reportedly employs over a million Filipinos and generates an estimated $15 billion annually. Under the 2007 Investment Priorities Plan (IPP), the government has offered incentives to attract foreign direct investment in the BPO industry.
A Canadian research firm has indicated that the Philippine economy has to be “always on” in the face of natural calamities to sustain its global competitiveness.
Progressive countries have been outsourcing more workload to the Philippines and the BPOs in the country should act in real-time applications to keep up with the demand on a daily basis. There should be no lull in operations at the onset of heavy rains. It should be business as usual.
An effective business continuity plan in place will allow for a seamless operation of the BPO sector. This will eventually elevate the country above the competitors around Asia such as India which is also being visited by the annual monsoons. The safety of workers is paramount but the businesses must go on.
At the Clark International Airport, it was business as usual, as the leading airlines such as AirAsia Philippines, AirAsia Berhad, Asiana, Jin Air, Seair, Airphil Express and Cebu Pacific ferried passenger to and from the Asian destinations. No flights had been cancelled while a skeletal force was at the Clark terminal to oversee operations.
A business continuity plan should be in place among businesses as a study release by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has it that more than 10 million Filipinos living in the cities are at risk of being exposed to flooding. The country landed on the Top 5 Asian countries where cities are facing threat from floods, based on the “Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2012.” Overall in Asia, more than 400 million people are at risk of being exposed to flooding.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on August 20, 2012.