Thompson, M ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1780-7452 (2022) The Philippines’ Business Process Outsourcing Industry through COVID-19. In: Covid-19 in Southeast Asia Insights for a Post-Pandemic World. LSE.

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Abstract

In 2019, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry was the second largest contributor to the Philippines’ economy, providing US$26 billion to the Philippine economy in 2019 (Rosales 2020) and employing at least 1.3 million people in over 1,000 firms, mainly located in urban regions (Reed, Ruehl, and Parkin 2020). BPO workers provide services for overseas corporations including facilitating travel and insurance cover, customer support for technology, and telehealth services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine government exempted the BPO industry from closure during quarantine periods owing to the industry’s importance for economic and geopolitical relations. BPO workers were thus exposed to a heightened risk of infection so that overseas economic activities could continue. COVID-19 did not just disrupt the BPO industry and the overseas corporations it served; it also highlighted and reproduced endemic levels of global inequality and exploitation. This chapter discusses the growth of the BPO industry in the Philippines with a specific focus on the healthcare information management sector pre-COVID-19 before examining the various responses that COVID-19 precipitated. The final section reflects on possibilities for the future of the BPO industry and its workers. Throughout, it is argued that BPO work in the Philippines is a recent example of the ways in which colonial lines of exploitation are redrawn in a digital world.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s). This is an Open Access book distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of products
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2022 12:51
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 12:51
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10521

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