Sen. Bam: Protect BPOs to secure jobs of Filipinos, livelihood of families

A senator reiterated the need to guard the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector from external and internal threats that may lead to loss of livelihood for thousands of Filipinos and their families.

“Libu-libong Pilipino at kanilang pamilya ang babalik sa kahirapan kung hindi natin poprotektahan ang BPO sector laban sa mga banta na maaaring makaapekto rito,” Sen. Bam Aquino said in his speech during the inauguration of the Global Payments Inc. office in Mandaluyong City.

As chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, Sen. Bam has conducted hearings to look into and craft solutions for the threats that affect the BPO sector, most especially artificial intelligence (AI).

Sen. Bam also committed to block provisions in the second package of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law that could affect the employment of thousands of Filipino workers in the BPO sector.

In his speech, Sen. Bam also renewed his commitment to help BPO companies through legislation to enable them to expand and provide more employment to Filipinos.

“We hope that we make it easier for you to do business here, we make it profitable for you to do business here so in turn you can provide jobs our countrymen need,” Sen. Bam said.

Sen. Bam underscored the need to support the BPO sector as any slowdown in the industry could lead to loss of jobs for thousands of Filipinos.

“More centers that open up, more centers to expand means more families will partake in the gains that our economy is currently experiencing. We’re here to make sure that this industry will continue to grow,” added Sen. Bam.

Recently, Sen. Bam was recognized as BPO champion by the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) for his contribution to develop and strengthen IT and BPO sector through legislation.

The IBPAP presented Sen. Bam with the IBPAP-PLDT Azure Flare For Industry Luminary award during the IBPAP Flare Awards 2018.

Sen. Bam: Prepare for AI takeover of PH jobs

Instead of focusing on the threats of artificial intelligence (AI), Sen. Bam Aquino said the business community can harness AI to create more jobs, increase competitiveness, and improve products and services.

“While AI may very well be our competition in the marketplace of jobs, they might also be unintended rivals that push us to evolve, become more efficient, to learn and to relearn,” Sen. Bam stressed in his speech during the International Quality Conference, which was held at Okada Manila in Paranaque.

 ”And I hope this pushes us, not to shut our doors, but rather to kickstart our competitive spirit and develop our workforce for the future,” added Sen. Bam.

Sen. Bam also commended the Asia Pacific Quality Organization, the Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) and other participants of the event for tackling how to harness the latest technology for the development of various industries.

As chairman of the Committee on Science and Technology, Sen. Bam spearheaded an inquiry on the effects of AI in the country’s present workforce, especially in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

During the hearing, it was discovered that AI will affect around 40,000 jobs in the contact center industry next year. However, it was projected that around 250,000 to 300,000 fresh employment opportunities will be created for those with data analysts and data programming skills. Sen. Bam these jobs can be opened up to Filipinos who are willing to learn and relearn.

 “The key is to be prepared. We must prepare our workforce through adequate, accessible, affordable training, re-training and education,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the cooperation of between the private sector, academe and government agencies is critical to the evolution and development of the Filipino workforce.

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