Philippines Outsourcing Revenues to Overtake Foreign Remittances

Revenues from Philippines Outsourcing, the country’s offshore outsourcing sector, are expected to outpace remittances from Filipinos working abroad in a few years, according to the central bank of the Philippines or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). The BSP said the booming business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is soon going to be the main source of dollar income for the country, replacing cash transfers. 

The income of outsourcing companies in the Philippines has already reached $18.4 billion, with earnings expected to increase by 15 to 17 percent in 2015. The IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) estimates that outsourcing in the Philippines will earn $25 billion annually and employ about 1.3 million Filipinos by 2016.

BSP Deputy Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo said remittances from overseas workers are expected to grow at a slow but steady clip of 6 percent at most in 2015, while revenues from outsourcing companies in the Philippines are expected to grow by at least 16 percent this year.

Foreign remittances contributed the most to the country’s dollar income in 2014, reaching a record $24 billion and accounting for almost 10 percent of the gross domestic output. The remittances also helped stabilize the peso amidst market volatility.

Even with the strong performance of outsourcing in the Philippines, the central bank expects remittances to remain a major contributor to economic growth. In March 2015, cash remittances from overseas workers rose to $2.1 billion, an 11.3 percent year-on-year increase. Cash remittances hit $5.8 billion for the first three months of 2015, which is 5.5 percent higher than the figure posted in the same period last year.

Guinigundo added that overseas Filipino worker (OFWs) are still in high demand. “If other countries had substitutes for Filipino labor, we can get worried. But there aren’t any,” said Guinigundo.