Acerd lists online gaming as emerging BPO industry in PHL

Online gaming is now being touted to be the next big business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, according to the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (Acerd).

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Online gaming is now being touted to be the next big business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, according to the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (Acerd).

At a recent forum, Acerd Director Alvin P. Ang said online gaming and game development could save the BPO sector, which, he said, has already reached its saturation point.

Ang said in terms of real-estate demand in Metro Manila, online gaming now accounts for 32 percent. The information technology-business process management still accounts the lion’s share at 40 percent.

“There are new BPOs coming into the picture and this is the online gaming. If you notice many of the buildings here in Makati have some of these, especially those accredited by Philippine Economic Zone Authority,” Ang said.

Ang added these firms are considered Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos). They have sprouted in Quezon City, Manila, and Muntinlupa.

However, the bulk of these Pogos are locating in Taguig, specifically Bonifacio Global City because of its location in Metro Manila.

These Pogos are currently serving the Chinese market and Ang expects the trend to continue because of the size of the market.

“That’s something that you want to consider, how to diversify your BPOs in such a way that you go for higher value sectors,” Ang said.

Meanwhile, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said diversifying and growing the BPO sector should come from the private sector.

This is why Pernia said the government is encouraging BPO firms to be more conscious of technological advancements, especially now that artificial intelligence (AI) has entered the picture.

“What we are saying is you have to be conscious now of the technological advances, innovations and AI, for example, is a major challenge to an industry like BPO because then there will be less need for people in the BPO if these things can be done by robots or machines,” Pernia said.

In 2017 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) said some 85 percent of retail and 89 percent of BPO workers are at risk of automation.

Unctad said that, while increased digitalization will create new jobs, there will be occupations that will disappear as a result of automation.

Unctad added increased digitalization will introduce four changes—job creation, job destruction, job changes and job shifts.

New jobs will stem from the production of new goods and services, such as 3D printing, software, app development and AI.

The report stated that conditions of work will be affected, such as benefits extended to workers that allow more flexibility for people in remote locations and people with disabilities.

Unctad also said new skills and education adjustments will be required particularly those linked to digital skills. Workers will also be required to have strong cognitive, adaptive and creative skills.



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