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Unlike India and China, the Philippines have a culture that is very compatible with Western cultures. After being a Spanish colony, the Philippines was governed by the United States from 1899 to 1946; the after effects are still very evident today. Television and movie theaters are almost fully dedicated to American productions that are shown in English without subtitles. English is the primary language for business and education in the Philippines. Although the official language is Filipino, the Philippine government has considered changing the official language to English due to its widespread use. With the strong presence of the US, the Philippines had developed a government that is somewhat similar to the US system. This makes Western companies more comfortable in doing business in the Philippines.
Highly Educated and Skilled Workforce
The Filipino workforce is one of the most compelling advantages the Philippines has over any other Asian country. With higher education priority, the literacy rate in the country is 94.6% — among the highest. English is taught in all schools, making the Philippines the world’s third largest English-speaking country. The Philippine public and private university system combined produces 360,000 graduates per year. Among these graduates, 30,000 to 50,000 are technically proficient, with degrees in computer science and programming. Another 50% of the total graduates have degrees in business administration, marketing / communications and other courses that are ideal for Australian, UK and US organizations.
BPO industry has become one of the main revenue generators of the country due to which the government fully supports its endeavors. They have set up special economic zones and established a Philippine Economic Zone Authority and grant fiscal and non-fiscal incentives such as a 4- to 8-year income tax holiday to BPO players. Even Indian BPO service providers have established operations in the Philippines over the years.
There is a significant offshore advantage in terms of labor cost in the Philippines. Wages are typically less than a fifth of that in Australia, UK and United States. Local communication, electricity, and housing costs are also 50% lower compared to the Australian, UK and USA rates.
Strong Work Ethic
Filipinos have an excellent work ethic. Employers can expect them to work long hours without compromising high productivity level. They are also very loyal and dedicated employees, resulting to low attrition rates.
The over-all infrastructure (including power, water, roads, and telecommunications) of the Philippines is favorably comparable to India and China. Communication provides redundant international connectivity 24/7 with fiber optic cable as primary backbone network and satellite as backup.