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Call Center Outsourcing Supporters Reveal They Don't Think New Bill is a Big Deal

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February 23, 2012

Call Center Outsourcing Supporters Reveal They Don't Think New Bill is a Big Deal

By Jordan Eggers, Contributing Writer

A proposed U.S. bill continues to cause issues for call center outsourcing companies in the Philippines as politicians head towards the November presidential and congressional elections.

In an effort to bring jobs back to the United States, New York Rep. Tim Bishop created the U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act, or Bishop bill, which would require companies to report themselves to the U.S. Department of Labor if outsourcing their services.

The U.S. Department of Labor will then continuously track the companies to ensure that they no longer continuing to outsource, but if they do the companies will be ineligible for any direct or indirect U.S. federal loans or loan guarantees for five years, according to ABS-CBNews.

“We believe we’ve lost 500,000 good paying jobs” to call center outsourcing companies, said Bishop Wednesday during a conference call with Information Week.

However, in the Philippines, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo doesn’t believe the Bishop bill is a real threat to call center outsourcing revealing in a statement, “We expect the anti-outsourcing rhetoric in Washington to build up in the months ahead, simply because American politicians courting votes will want to make it appear they are protecting badly needed U.S. jobs from going overseas. However, we don’t consider the Bishop bill a real threat to the booming outsourcing industry of the Philippines. It is just a pre-election political gambit. We seriously doubt the bill will see the light of day.”

Romulo is the author of the proposed Protecting the Privacy of Personal Data in Information Systems Act, which will help to expand outsourcing in the Philippines.

According to ABS (News - Alert)-CBNews, by 2016 call center outsourcing companies in the Philippines is expected to employ up to 1.3 million Filipinos and produce nearly $25 billion in annual revenue.

Romulo says he believes that call center outsourcing companies are actually helpful to the U.S. corporations because of the low price associated with running a business in the Philippines versus the United States.

“To begin with, the BPO service providers here in the Philippines are predominantly American firms that remit profits to mother units in the US,” said Romulo. “Outsourcing to the Philippines has enabled many Fortune 500 American corporations to reduce costs and keep more jobs in America.”

Although both India and the Philippines came together earlier in January to lobby against the bill, they still have a large amount of confidence it will not be passed.

“The signal we are getting is that we should not worry about it…we don’t know if it will pass into law considering past experience,” Philippine Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Baldoz commented, noting that similar bills have been filed in the past, but never went through. “With respect to the outsourcing of jobs, the fates of the (previous) bills were that they did not move.”

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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