Around 800K BPO employees may lose jobs by 2024 due to automation

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz |June 13,2019 - 07:05 PM

Christopher Monterola, professor of Asian Institute of Management, urges Filipino workers to learn new skills or upgrade skills to prepare for the effects of automation. |Irene R. Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Unless business process outsourcing (BPO) workers learn new skills or upgrade their skills, around 800,000 could lose their jobs in the next three to five years.

Christopher Monterola, professor of Asian Institute of Management and A-Site-Aboitiz School of Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship, said the emergence of artificial intelligence would have negative impact on jobs in the Philippines, including the BPO industry.

Monterola was among the speakers of the Entrepreneurs’ Summit, one of the events of Cebu Business Month 2019 held at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

Read more: Sa-a: Cebu BPO industry in need of workers with high-value skills

Citing a survey, Monterola said about 49 percent of the country’s labor force must be reskilled or upskilled to be able to survive the emerging artificial intelligence. 

“Among the important segment of society that probably will be very critical are BPOs,” he pointed out. 

Read more: IT-BPM workforce’s upskilling needed – Tholons’ chairman

According to Monterola, the BPOs provide employment to more than one million workers who are receiving good salaries. This meant that workers who fail to learn new skills or upgrade existing skills would lose their jobs. 

Generally, 78 percent of the country’s workforce have 50 percent chance of being automated, he pointed out.

The three top sectors that would be most affected by automation are agriculture workers (87 percent), construction workers (88 percent) and door to door sales workers, news and street vendors.

Based on the study, he said ‘telemarketers will be automated; handsewers will be automated.’

Meanwhile, AIM has proposed the inclusion of artificial intelligence as part of the K-12 curriculum to help prepare future labor force, he added./dbs

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