Philippines Outsourcing & Culture

22 Reasons to Outsource to the Philippines in 2022

27/01/ 2022   |   Brent Endaya  |   Outsourcing

1. Communication and Culture

English is the second language in the Philippines. It is deeply integrated in the education system (with 94% literacy rate), used in daily life, all types of media, and a requirement for most jobs. 70% percent of Filipinos as of 2019 are fluent in English.

We have the confidence to speak English in conversation and we have a somewhat of a US accent, a great advantage over other countries.

However, what’s more beneficial is not only fluency but actual skills in communication. It’s not just about grammar, or neutral pronunciation/accents. It’s more about comprehension and emotional connection.

It’s about providing context, being empathetic, a willingness to listen, acknowledging the other person’s feelings and more. Filipinos are very good at those, which makes for good communicators essential for customer service and working with clients.

If you look at other articles, they also mention the Philippines has a semi-Western culture similar to the US, Australia, or UK, albeit more conservative. This definitely helps in good communication. Filipinos have a very small cultural gap with the countries we usually work with.

The Filipinos’ obsession with Western media definitely helps integrate with Western culture more. The Philippines are one of the top 4 countries with the most subscribers to streaming services, with 62% of Filipinos adults at least subscribed to one. And it’s not just movies, Filipinos also love music. The top 50 Spotify songs in the Philippines have more than 50% English songs in it, whether from foreign or local artists.

It’s very easy to adapt to the nuances of language if you get immersed in it through watching or listening to the media.

Filipinos are culturally adaptive. When world travel comes back (yes, I’m still optimistic) and you go to different countries, you will inevitably meet an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).

Whatever language or culture a country has, Filipinos learn it fast, and well, in order to communicate and assimilate. And it goes back again to cultural relevance and emotional connection, instead of just mastery of language.

Now, with these language and communication aspects in mind, it’s easier to outsource tasks and business processes to Filipinos. Not just for providing customer service, but for business owners communicating their goals and assignments.

It’s an easier working relationship because communication is clear and smooth.

2. Veterans in the Outsourcing Industry

The first Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) contact center in the Philippines was established in 1992. We already have decades of experience in outsourcing. We have established codes, rules, guidelines, and even regulations to support the outsourcing industry.

The length of experience also means a variety of clients, situations, and lessons have already been learned for you. It also means it’s better and easier to get talented and trained people you need. We have leaders and trainers which make it easier for you to build a foundation for your growth.

So if you need something really specific or you need to start something new and bespoke, Filipinos are the experienced and trained freelancers to help you.

3. Room for Growth

If you already have a stable revenue and you want to grow, you need more people. Specifically, 2 types of people, depending on how you want your growth.

If you want people to grow with you, you need managers and trainers. You want people who will train new employees, manage your existing employees, while you embark on a journey for all of you to learn and grow.

If you need people to grow the business for you, you need consultants or an agency. Ask your consultant the most optimized way to grow, make a plan, and have the agency do the tasks for you.

In the Philippines, we have all the people you need. We have managers with years of experience, trainers who handle hundreds of people, consultants who work with a variety of clients, and agencies that produce measurable results.

The Philippine workforce has talented, hard-working, and skilled people, and experts and leaders who can assist you to have a sturdy foundation and have a prosperous business growth.

4. Family & Community-Centric

An individual with good relationships in their environment is a very valuable asset.

First, it’s because they have more time and energy to focus on accomplishing what you need them to. They already have their relationships with their family and community taken care of, they can then easily form business relationships and focus on it.

Plus, having a support system from family is very helpful, especially in a practical sense. Helping to provide transportation, giving a workspace in case of power outage when working from home, and things like that are normal in the Philippines.

Family members and people around the community help each other to make sure individuals can go to work or be able to work as much as they can.

When it comes to the community, Filipinos are fully aware of the common workplace woes and are actively doing something about it such as bringing awareness to discrimination or doing something for the environment.

Companies and individuals do their part to contribute something that will help the community. And in the immediate benefits, having employment sure does help their family and the community.

Also, the advantage of having an attention to family/community is having a close-knit company culture or establishing a healthy workplace community is very easy if you outsource to Filipino employees.

5. Knowing How Much They Are Worth

Worth and value are all very subjective and very specific to an individual. But pricing is determined either by economics or how you view yourself. And determining how much you are worth, especially as a business, is very important.

It doesn’t always have to be reactions to the market or the economy. You also have the power to dictate what your price is. First, you can never know how much a consumer is willing to pay for your product or service, unless you ask or unless they react to your price. Second, you can either be a market follower or market leader, like Apple.

But when it comes to outsourcing, hiring someone who knows how much they are worth, makes negotiations very easy.

And the individual or the agency confident enough to say their price knows what businesses are willing to pay and knows what they can deliver.

Although I’m not saying that only Filipinos know how much they are worth. We know our price because we have experience. We know what we can deliver, we know how much it’s worth, we know how much our competitors charge, and we know how much people are willing to pay.

6. Best Bang for your Buck

But some articles will tell you that the Philippines has “cheap” labor and sometimes it’s what business owners might just be looking for.

It may look opposite from the point I was talking about earlier, because it may look like we are underpricing just to be ahead of the competition. But it is not.

It’s not “cheap labor”, it’s just the best bang for your buck. Again, we know what we are worth. It always makes the most economic and practical sense to get the most of your investment.

As an example, let’s look at web developers. Web developers in the US have an average base salary of $67,251 per year excluding benefits. In the Philippines, web developers can earn P295,000 per year excluding benefits. Converted to dollars according to forex as of this writing, that’s $5,745.

Investing in Filipino’s skilled at working online can save you tens of thousands of dollars that you can put back in your company or invest in other things that can make you grow.

The law of diminishing returns always applies, especially when outsourcing. Even with fierce competitors, I’d still say that Filipinos can offer more returns on your investment rather than just offering cheap but low-quality output or unnecessarily expensive prices with no value.

7. Reduced Liability, Increased accountability

Let’s make it plain and simple. In many years of working in the outsourcing industry, it’s very rare to get a frivolous lawsuit from a rogue employee in the Philippines. You won’t ever have to deal with lengthy and resource consuming litigation when dealing with disgruntled employees here.

Also, if you hire an agency, the agency has quality control and HR. Quality of work is monitored and your contractors (the agency’s employees) have built-in Human Resources and Compliance teams to take care of them. Most agencies will also have policies and procedures to protect both sides.

It’s very rare to see disgruntled employees do something to damage their employers in the Philippines, mostly because of the family/community-centric culture that promotes respect and grievances are handled at the managerial level. It doesn’t escalate to company or business damage.

Should those events happen, the Philippine Legal System as well as the contractual agreements to HR departments will make sure individuals or groups that caused damage will be held accountable.

Lastly, in the topic of human resources, employee benefits such as health insurance, hazard pay, and other incentives are handled and taxed locally, if using a reputable company registered in the Philippines. Another thing that you won’t have to deal with when outsourcing here in the Philippines.

Note: When hiring individual freelancers it’s worth asking the question if they’re paying their required government taxes.

8. Talent, Attitude, and Mindset

The main export of the Philippines is its people. Filipinos are talented not only in the world arena of sports or entertainment, but in the workplace as well.

But talent alone is not enough to bring your company success. It’s the use of talent, coupled with a great attitude and mindset that’s the recipe for a successful career or business. And believe me, talent will easily die if not backed up with the right attitude and mindset.

Filipinos are optimistic and hard-working, aside from being talented. We are also very resilient and resourceful, which is very much needed since we encounter typhoons and earthquakes yearly, literally.

Even with all the disasters that have happened in the past few years, the Social Weather Station in the Philippines conducted a survey that says 93% of Filipinos are still optimistic about the future.

And that’s a great asset to clients. Having someone with a great attitude and mindset is contagious and makes everyone positive (pun intended.)

The easiest path to success is paved by people who are happy with what they are doing, are good at what they do, and are being led by someone with a clear vision.

9. Best for All Types of Businesses

The Philippines has a wide variety of agencies and freelancers to help your business. And it’s important to point out that outsourcing does not just pertain to BPOs or call centers.

Any task or any business process that you have can be outsourced. And the Philippines’ outsourcing market has got you covered.

If you take a look at any freelancing platform such as Upwork, the top Filipino profiles you will see provide creative services (writing, development, design), assistant/back office services, digital advertising, social media handling, ecommerce experts, and so much more.

And even if you’re just a startup, a brick and mortar business transitioning online, or an enterprise establishing a global presence, outsourcing Filipino employees might just be your best bet.

Outsourcing is always an option and the best solution for further growth on any stage of your business.

10. Government and Educational Support

It’s really helpful to have government support and have regulations on an industry. The outsourcing industry – especially BPO/contact centers – is acknowledged, protected, and beneficial to the country.

On the government side, we have the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) which was created to help promote foreign investments by giving investors assistance in business registration, facilitating business operations, and giving tax incentives. This is geared towards export-based manufacturing which you can invest in or outsource from.

We also have massive government support for BPO companies which give them easier import and export procedures, tax exemptions on imported equipment, the privilege of foreigners working here easily, and so much more.

We even have Republic Act No. 10844 which established the Department of Information and Communications Technology Act of 2015 which is the government department that handles the infrastructure for better and more efficient internet connectivity.

The DICT also works in conjunction with government agencies such as the National Telecommunications Commission, the National Privacy Commission, and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center that oversee and protect individuals in all matters related to the internet.

And it doesn’t stop with just the government agencies and legislation. The government also supports outsourcing through education.

Outsourced jobs, freelancing, and BPO training and courses have been around even before teleworking/Working From Home was implemented.

Companies have partnerships with universities to make the hiring process faster and direct-to-source and we have vocational training and English proficiency training from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

TESDA also provides other courses in Web Development, CAD, 3D Animation, Software and Game Development, and other vocational courses. Filipino citizens always have the opportunity to learn and be employed. And best of all, these courses are all free!

11. Access to Utilities and Resources

With 88 million Facebook users and 33 million Tiktok users in the Philippines and with the rise of working from home and online learning, almost all households have an internet connection, a couple of smartphones or tablets, and at least one laptop or PC all of which can be used in freelancing or agency work.

And as I mentioned earlier we have DICT and NTC to make sure the service providers are supplying stable and fast internet.

The economic zones and the government also make sure that power interruptions are rare and easily fixed because most of the workforce now are working remotely.

Ecommerce is on fire in the country (just look at Shopee and Lazada, SEA Ltd share prices during the pandemic), with next-day delivery or as little as 3 days to far-flung provinces, making it easy for individuals and businesses to purchase equipment and supplies for work.

12. Tech Literacy & Consumption

Filipinos are tech savvy and quick to embrace innovation. It was as early as 1993 to 1994 when the internet was adopted and implemented into the Filipino way of life and we have never looked back since.

The Philippines is even one of the earliest adopters of 5G and is the first in Southeast Asia to have a 5G service.

Technology is part of Filipino culture. Computer subjects are taught in school early on and we interface with tech semi-regularly, even to those people who don’t necessarily work in the tech or outsourcing industry.

Before the pandemic, we even had internet cafes which can cater to people who want to play computer or console games or just access the internet for the people who don’t have personal computers back home.

And as we established before, Ecommerce is booming in the Philippines. It’s advertised everywhere and people use it daily. We even have online banking and digital wallet apps that we use regularly. But it’s not just ecommerce, IKEA has just opened the largest IKEA store in the world, right here in the Philippines.

We are even keeping up with the trends as many Filipinos are quick to invest in cryptocurrency and have the largest player base in the new play-to-earn services such as Axie Infinity.

The advantage in tech literacy is the comfort and confidence that individuals can have when dealing with new or unique software to cater to your business.

When given the permission, employees or agencies can develop faster processes or troubleshoot friction points in your business.

13. Security and Privacy

The Internet security and privacy structure in the Philippines, especially on the enterprise level is world-class.

Aside from the government agencies such as the National Privacy Commission and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordination Center that protect users, agencies and companies that deal with data have stringent policies when it comes to privacy.

Businesses have dedicated compliance teams to make sure that physical or online access to hardware, data, or anything in-between are only granted to those who need it.

And even individual freelancers or smaller agencies have the know-how to make sure private information is protected and safe from hackers, phishers, DDoS attacks and such.

Filipinos are the ones that are most active online. We have been the top social media and internet users in the world for 6 consecutive years now.

With a very large user base, we are fully aware that the internet has its dangerous traps. We know how to minimize the risks, who to contact when breaches happen, and how to patch things up a bit, in order to continue business.

14. Getting it Done

There is a saying here that goes “Kung walang tiyaga, walang nilaga” which roughly translates to “If you don’t persevere, then there’s no food here.” Yeah, I tried to make it rhyme.

Industriousness and the value of labor are deeply ingrained in Filipino culture. We know that hard-work is necessary and we know the value in sacrifice.

We know sometimes we need to take overtime, events need to be rescheduled, we sometimes have to work weekends, sometimes sudden and tight deadlines arrive. And we still have to get it done and we do get it done.

But even though we believe in the merits of hard work, we still also believe in the value of leisure, self-care, having fun, and taking time off.

15. Flexibility and Agility

Filipinos are not just flexible to adjust to any timezone, we are also flexible in skill. We learn and adapt to tasks easily. And it’s not unnatural to see a Filipino CV with a wide variety of work experiences.

And sometimes, the situation calls for a different task or a different skill set. But the best solution is not always to hire new people but just to train your existing people. And Filipino outsourced workers are always open and eager to expand their know-how.

But flexibility isn’t enough for a company to run well, the speed in which the adaptation is implemented is very crucial, especially in times like this. And Filipinos are pretty agile in that sense.

Whether it’s a sudden transition to online, an emergency skeletal team, a founding team to be established globally, or anything else pioneering that needs fast implementation, outsourcing to the Philippines may be your best solution.

We adapt well, adapt fast, both while keeping your business safe and compliant with security and privacy.

16. Productive Relationships

Filipinos are one of the best collaborators and partners in the world’s workspace. We are well-known for hospitality and politeness, but we also tend to speak our mind when we need to. We also are always eager to listen and open to try and consider any idea that is given to us.

The best relationships, especially in business, are more about collaboration than compromise. It’s more about working together than just appeasing both sides. We are accommodating but we also are willing to share our ideas if we think it can be helpful to the business.

And lastly, we value every relationship we have because we know working together is very productive and it is crucial for individuals or business to achieve success.

17. Future Forward Thinking

Though we have Silicon Valley where the tech giants live and we have Shenzhen where tech innovation is booming, we also have the Philippines who can be the hybrid/central hub for BOTH software and hardware.

The Philippines is very much experienced in production, though it’s not as well-known and as cheap as China. But we already have the potential and we have the foundation (PEZA) to support outsourced manufacturing.

There are also active talks with government agencies to improve communication infrastructure, sources of power, and business-centric cities to make sure everything needed to run a business, including manpower can be provided.

We are also building lots of infrastructure such as roads and airports to boost the economy and to be ready once the world opens up again.

There are many articles and economists that say the Philippines is a “Tiger Economy” and the future is bright for us. And it’s easily noticeable.

Because even though we have the worldwide pandemic, the economy still is steadily rising due to the digital shift, running their own businesses, or starting their own careers as content creators/bloggers.

And the best way for a business to have returns on investment is to start investing in an already booming economy.

18. Diversity and Creativity

Being diverse is literally in every Filipino’s blood and it can be traced back to our ancestors. You can still see it in our native tribes and in our food.

The unofficial national dish of the Philippines is Adobo and there is no “traditional” way of cooking it. Instead every tradition from every province does it a bit different.

But how is it beneficial to your business? Well, if you’re looking for outside of the box ideas or just different perspectives, just talk to your Filipino team. Most of the time, they will have differing opinions.

And that also goes back to productive relationships. Even with diverse opinions, we still are united by principles and we live peacefully together.

Any decision can be talked about and have workarounds. We’ve done it for generations and placing it in a work environment will be no different.

19. Strong Foundation

We also have a saying in the Philippines: “Ang di lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay di makakarating sa paroroonan” which literally means “Anyone who does not look back will not reach their destination.”

Every Filipino respects their heritage and culture. We are grounded and resilient to whatever we may face. Storms, volcanos, the pandemic are all met with a strong heart, an optimistic mindset, and with a helping hand.

Whatever problems an individual or business may face, there will always be a strong individual to give great perspective, be inspired by, or just do what they can to help.

If your company has strong values, you will not have to do much to instill those values on Filipino people.

20. Competitiveness

We Filipinos love a good competition. Whether it’s sports, singing or, in the job market. And we don’t just love it, we are also good at it. And we are actively working to be, if not the best, one of the best at it. Because in order to compete, you have to be competent.

We also are fully aware of the countries that offer the same outsourcing services as us. So we know and develop our unique selling points, we maintain and extend our advantages, we never rest on our laurels to stay competitive.

Agencies, like USource, do regular upskilling initiatives for members to have the opportunity to learn new skills, add new certifications, or strive to be experts and to be flexible and suited to any kind of business.

And Filipinos are one of the largest audiences in YouTube and one of the largest user bases in Tiktok. So most individual freelancers are also watching tutorials to expand their skill or just try out content creation to experience it, develop their skills, and monetize their talent.

21. Working Hard and Playing Hard

One of the most optimistic and fun work parties you’ll ever have is with Filipinos. It’s very important to have fun after work to keep your sanity and productivity optimized. We know we all need rest and recreation and we know it’s better for everyone.

We Filipinos always make sure to have our past time or develop our hobbies because we know it actually makes us more energetic, more passionate, and produces better results or provides better services.

Leisure, recreation and taking time off is always better for physical health and for the health of the company.

22. Availability

All of these factors are great and unique but it will all go to waste if you don’t find the people that already have these qualities. Luckily, there are thousands of Filipinos that are available and looking for jobs.

You can go to freelancing platforms or contact local agencies such as USource Digital to get you the staff you need.

Outsource Here, Now

If 22 reasons are not enough for you to hire, maybe knowing 200+ tasks to outsource online will help. At whatever stage your business is currently in, outsourcing is always an advantageous option. And possibly the best solution.

Be open to opportunity. Diversify your workforce. Hire experienced and expert staff.

It’s time to make a change this year. Let’s not make it “2020 too”. Delegate, outsource, and have more time for yourself to grow your business.