MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine contact center industry has received numerous inquiries from foreign clients and investors with regards to the country’s current investment climate given President Duterte’s ongoing war on drugs and other controversial pronouncements.
“We’ve certainly been asked questions about what’s really going on in the Philippines. Questions started to be raised when the President declared a state of national emergency because of state of lawlessness. It did create questions from some of our clients,” Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) Benedict Hernandez said in a press briefing Wednesday.
Hernandez, however, said none of the inquiries made were regarding safety concerns.
“I think they were asking about what’s going on and we’re getting questions ourselves so help us get an answer,” he said.
“For us, we prefer that they ask questions because that is an opportunity for us to clarify. It creates opportunities for us to clarify the reality on the ground,” Hernandez added.
The CCAP official said it is business as usual in the local business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
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“We don’t really see any impact right now and we just have to make sure we take care of the questions. It’s business as usual for our companies, our employees, in our work, and conducting our business. We haven’t seen travel advisory changes among our BPO companies and neither from our clients. So we haven’t seen our clients saying ‘I’m now prohibited from flying into the country,’” Hernandez said.
In terms of reports that call center agents in Metro Manila are the next targets in the government’s next phase of the war on drugs, Hernandez said the industry is ready to participate and cooperate with the government in this matter.
He said the industry has already set a meeting with the Philippine National Police to discuss the fight on drugs along with its awareness and education programs.
“We certainly want to have a good dialogue on how we could implement Oplan Tokhang in contact centers. We have yet to have the meeting, but we’re looking forward to it,” Hernandez said.