On the Philippine IT-BPO Industry: “Bayaning Puyat” or Dead-end Job?

data business infographic economics dataviz

The call center industry, or more widely called IT-BPO, has received its fair share of praise for contributing to economic and job growth, but a job in this industry still carries the stigma of low pay and low skill. We can take a look at the IT-BPO industry using data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to shed some light on the graveyard shift.

TJ Palanca https://www.twitter.com/tjpalanca
02-10-2014
Many skilled Filipinos detest the idea of working in a call center, but is that position justified? In this photo is the Ortigas skyline, one of the central business districts in Manila, the capital.(Photo: <a href='http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ortigas_Tonight.jpg'>RamirBorja/Wikimedia</a>, <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en' rel='nofollow'>CC BY-SA 2.5</a>)

Figure 1: Many skilled Filipinos detest the idea of working in a call center, but is that position justified? In this photo is the Ortigas skyline, one of the central business districts in Manila, the capital.(Photo: RamirBorja/Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.5)

IT-BPO (Information Technology - Business Process Outsourcing) has recently been a main economic driver for the Philippines, accounting for a significant portion of output and job growth. However, as I’ve come to recognize when I read a Rappler iSpeak article “In Defense of Telephone Operators,” the BPO industry still carries a strong stigma of being a ‘dead-end job,’ a job that does not require skill, or work that is poorly compensated. Do the numbers lend credence to that position? Let’s find out.

Financiers and Patrons

First, we can take a look at the details behind investment and consumption in the IT-BPO sector, the relative efficiency or returns on each type of IT-BPO, and the customers served by the industry in 2011. Such an overview can glean insight on the prospects of our BPO industry.