Philippines Needs Workers

Rapid growth of outsourcing services pushes demand for more workers.

The Philippine outsourcing industry will need an extra 420,000 workers within the next two years as it bids to become one of the world's leading outsourcing centers, business leaders said Aug. 15.

The industry is targeting annual revenues of $12 billion to $13 billion by 2010, Business Processing Association of the Philippines Chief Executive Oscar Sanez said.

Last year the industry saw revenues of $4.9 billion and 300,000 people in centers mainly in Manila, although call centers have been set up in Cebu, Baguio and other cities around the country.

Sanez said the industry, which includes call centers and back-office operations such as medical and legal transcription, engineering services and software writing, has seen major growth since 2001 when revenues totaled $120,000 and employed only 10,000 people.

The Philippines is attempting to catch up to India as more companies based overseas outsource their operations here to save money.

Megaworld Corp., one of the country's leading property firms, is constructing 5.4 million square feet of office space for the outsourcing industry in Metropolitan Manila and the central city of Cebu, said company vice president Josiah Go.

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