Obama: Philippine Implication

Posted on June 4, 2008

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[This blog has a new domain: http://philippineaffairs.com/]

The recent victory of Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential nomination is a historic event. He is now nearer to the US presidency than ever before. The American electorate seems to love this man. He is the African-American version of JFK. He seems to possess the vision of John F. Kennedy and the charisma of Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Camelot returning in the US? What could be the Philippine implications if ever Sen. Obama gets elected to the highest office of the US government?

The United States of America is now undergoing economic recession. Analysts predict that the trend is unlikely to subside soon. Although the economic impact would not be as adverse as the 1930’s stock market crash that led to the US Depression, the results are now starting to be felt. Many Americans are losing their jobs, inflation rate is going up, and some businesses are already starting to show symptoms of financial non-liquidity.

One of Sen. Obama’s agenda is to provide more jobs for Americans. This means that his economic policies, if ever elected as president, will be more focused on strengthening the domestic labor force. What would be the implication of this in the Philippine economy? Some economists are forecasting that the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector will be one of the business sectors that might be drastically affected. BPO companies include call centers, medical transcription companies, animation companies, and content development companies. In the Philippines alone, the BPO sector accounts for eleven billion dollars of earnings (US$11 billion) and around 900,000 employees. On the other hand, the worldwide BPO revenues amount to US$180 billion. Obama would surely look at the BPO industry as anti-American because instead of employing Americans, it employs foreigners.

To all all of us who are earning our bread and butter from BPO companies, let us all keep our fingers cross. Let us hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

I am not paranoid but as of now, I am already looking for other opportunities outside the BPO sector in anticipation of the US economic recession and Barack Obama’s election to the presidency.

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