It looks like the Philippines is starting to lose its edge in the field of business process outsourcing (BPO) as the number of applicants with the right English skills is starting to drop.

Many jobs, including those in the BPO industry, are being threatened by the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). However, Bloomberg cited that another big threat is the falling quality of Filipino talent.

According to Jack Madrid, president of the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the substandard skills of BPO applicants, and even existing agents, is a big concern, especially in the area of conversing and comprehending the English language.


“The most common challenge I hear is comprehension,” Madrid told Bloomberg in an interview. “I think they fail at a more basic level.”

He added that Filipinos were “better English speakers before.”

The Philippines is second to India — the most populous country in the world — as the largest BPO hub globally.

English proficiency used to be the Filipinos’ edge in this field as it appeals to a lot of foreign companies looking to outsource some of their business processes offshore. However, that advantage is starting to ease out.

In fact, the IBPAP president said that only one of every ten BPO applicants is getting jobs these days.

Madrid pointed out “some fundamental weaknesses in our education system” as a cause. “It’s an old problem but it’s just become much more urgent now,” he added.

Source: Bloomberg

This article, Only 1 in 10 Filipino BPO applicants hired due to poor English skills — IBPAP, was originally published at NoypiGeeks | Philippines Technology News, Reviews and How to’s.