Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Some Fil-Ams are worried about the campaign rhetoric against business outsourcing the days leading up to next week’s midterm elections that could hurt countries like the Philippines.

“This should be a source of concern for Filipinos,” admitted lawyer Wari Azarcon, one of the founding members of the Filipino American Republicans of Virginia (FARV).

President Obama and the Democratic Party have made the issue of business outsourcing one of their key campaign issues. The President has vowed to slap stiffer levies on American companies that ship jobs overseas.

That tack hasn’t been as visible in the Metro DC region, with its large immigrant population, but in Ohio and the President’s home state of Illinois, at least one influential group of Asian Americans have reportedly poured millions to the campaign kitty of Republican candidates who are open to employment outsourcing.

Americans troop to polling stations on Nov. 2 to elect their senators, congressmen, governors and key state and local officials.

The Wall Street Journal said Democratic attacks against outsourcing were alienating erstwhile supporters in the Indian American community.

For the first time, the Wall Street Journal revealed, the Indian-American political action committee (USINPAC) has began spending on GOP candidates because of the outsourcing issue.

Last July, a group of Fil-Ams lobbied Capitol Hill against a bill by Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, that would impose a 25-cent tax on each call made from an overseas call center to US customers.

“We are for free trade,” Azarcon averred, “and while personally I am committed to the exercise of my power as a consumer to defend the US economy, American companies must have that option to resort to outsourcing if this is the way to be competitive and survive.”

The US is the world’s biggest off-shoring client.

The Philippines is reportedly the 3rd largest business process outsourcing (BPO) destination next only to India (37%) and Canada (27%).

Philippine officials and industry leaders estimate the number of people employed by BPOs will grow from over 400,000 today to 700,000 by 2011. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) said Philippine-based BPOs could generate 1.3 million jobs and $25 billion in revenues by 2016.

The Philippine outsourcing sector offers various services, from the dominant call centers to finance, animation, engineering computer-assisted design (CAD), medical transcription and architectural services.

When US banks were forced to temporarily suspend millions of home foreclosures following reports bank officials allegedly didn’t even read the foreclosure papers they were signing, there were suggestions some of those documents may have actually been processed in the Philippines.

Azarcon said American corporations have an obligation to stakeholders and cracking down on US outsourcing contracts could ultimately hurt the economy.

“If these companies go bankrupt because they can not compete in the market, the impact will be more devastating,” he warned.

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