The Pliant Pinoys

Anthony Chua

The US financial crisis has surfaced out a significant truth in the global economic landscape – an individual economy is largely affected by the rest of the world.

When the Dow Jones and Nasdaq started to plunge, financial markets all over the world followed suit. This domino effect of dismal worldwide market performance (the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930’s, many economists believe) has sent waves of ominous messages of global economic recession that could thrust more people into poverty, or, in the case of those in developing countries, worsen it.

As such, the Philippines is not spared from this global plight. Being a third-world country, it is expected that the archipelago will be susceptible to economic slowdown. Yet despite global slowdown, Filipinos have the potential to withstand the brunt. With the emergence of overseas employment and business process outsourcing, our world class skills combined with our flexibility and versatility have been sought after by developed countries.

One of the benefits of globalization is the ease of overseas employment. Developed countries can avail the professional services of those in the developing countries for practical reasons: cheaper labor costs and more skilled workforce. So far, the Philippines is a leading country in terms of global employment migration, thanks to our flair in English and remarkable work capabilities and ethics. In fact a journalist in the Middle East wrote in his article “Imagine a World without Filipinos” in Arab News said that the world economy would be severely affected if Filipinos stopped working. Canada, too, highly values Filipino workers that they opened thousands of jobs to Filipinos. No less than the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said to Filipinos in his speech at the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development at the Philippine International Convention Center “Your experiences as one of the most important countries of emigration, whose citizens are respected around the world, make you a natural leader in this field.”

Furthermore the Philippines is one of the leaders in business process outsourcing. In fields such as contact center services, legal services, web design, medical transcription, software development, animation, our low-cost yet high quality professional outputs put the Philippines at the top alongside emerging economic powerhouses India, China, and Brazil.

And the demand for professionals in this industry keeps on booming despite the global financial crisis. In fact, the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) just recently came up with their list of top ten “next-wave” cities, or ideal outsourcing locations aside from Metro Manila and Cebu.

As citizens of the present interconnected world, the Philippines cannot shun away from the catastrophic effects of the US financial crisis. But at a time when the US and other developed countries are forced to look for cost efficient alternative workforce, they hanker for Filipinos’ innate and unparalleled skills, talents, and virtues that could save their companies from bankruptcy and, eventually, the global economy from further meltdown.

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