BPOs seek government assistance in recovering losses

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THE business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in Davao City, especially the homegrown BPO companies, called on the government to help them recover their losses after the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

BPO Association of Davao Inc. (BPOAD) president Eric Manalastas said the industry is seeing an estimated revenue loss of 40 to 30 percent because of adhering to the guidelines set by the local government on adopting flexible work arrangements.

“There is really no way to cushion the impact. We are bound by the guidelines set forth by the local government on the BPO operations in line with DTI MC (Department of Trade and Industry Memorandum Circular) 20-08 Series of 2020. To do this means additional costs but is necessary so as to retain the client base. Some companies opted to temporarily suspend their operations,” he said.

He said many of the local and foreign clients of the BPO companies have also asked for discounts or have suspended their projects.

“We cannot also backfill or hire new personnel. We will lose some of the personnel who cannot be given accommodation or work-from-home (WFH) arrangement,” he said.

Manalastas said this situation has a greater impact on smaller BPO companies.

“Many of the homegrown/smaller BPOs may find it difficult to recover the losses sustained as they don’t have the same resources compared to the multinational corporations. Some may not be able to survive if this goes for more than three months,” he said.

“We are hoping the government will be able to help in this situation,” he added.

Earlier, Information and Communication Technology Davao Chapter (ICT-Davao) president Sam Matunog said the guidelines for the BPO companies forced them to acquire computer hardware, wired or wireless connectivity, productivity and client software, and cybersecurity for the work from home setup.

He said it is an additional cost apart from the facilities already available in their centers.


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