Quake hits Cebu BPO operations
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Business process outsourcing (BPO) operations in Cebu were suspended on Tuesday, October 15, after a 7.2 magnitude quake hit Central Visayas.
The Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said in a statement the safety of employees is the priority amid reports that the shallow quake damaged property – including historic structures – across the region.
“Several buildings have been safely evacuated immediately after the earthquake and are undergoing structural assessments for safety by the building owners and their engineers. Re-entry into the buildings will only commence once the buildings have been cleared,” CCAP president Benedict Hernandez said.
Cebu houses around 100 BPO centers including contact centers and an estimated 90,000 employees, according to the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
IBPAP President and CEO Jose Mari Mercado however noted that “bulk of [contact center] employees were out of their building” when the quake struck at 8:12 am.
“Their shift starts from 9 pm to 5 am,” Mercado said in a phone interview with Rappler.
By the time the quake shook Cebu, “employees had finished working and were on their way home.”
Cebu is one of the country’s major destinations for BPO operations. It significantly contributes to the Philippines, which is the world’s call center capital.
Voice- and non-voice-based outsourced services are a key dollar earner of the country. - with reports from Cecilia Cabiao/Rappler.com