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Despite the regulations set by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) for the strict accreditation of licenses and monitoring of Offshore gaming companies that operate in the country, the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) have generated a strong effect for the economy where employment, revenue and real estate industries were given a boost.

According to the Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development (Acerd), offshore gaming companies is the next industry that will impact the local economy, the same way as the IT-BPM and BPO industry have when it comes to economic development.

According to Acerd Director Alvin P. Ang, the BPO industry will benefit due to the diversification that offshore gaming companies bring.

When it comes to the real estate office market, offshore gaming companies are quickly catching up to the BPO companies when it comes to the rate of occupation for leasable offices. Mr Ang said that offshore gaming companies have taken up 32% of the Manila office spaces while BPO currently enjoys a 40% occupation rate.

“There are new BPOs coming into the picture and this is the online gaming. If you notice many of the buildings here in Makati have some of these, especially those accredited by Philippine Economic Zone Authority,” Ang said as quoted by the Business Mirror.

Currently Manila’s key cities such as Pasay, Muntinlupa and Quezon City are known as a hotbed for the offshore gaming companies while the modern city of Bonifacio Global City Taguig has also been an upcoming location for offshore gaming due to the city’s fast expanding infrastructure.

The setback of the BPO industry comes from the disruptive notion of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence where manual processes such as data processing are now being done by intelligent systems with machine learning capabilities.

According to Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia, innovation and enhancing the industry’s capabilities to augment with these conditions must come from the industry leaders itself and within the private sector.

“What we are saying is you have to be conscious now of the technological advances, innovations and AI, for example, is a major challenge to an industry like BPO because then there will be less need for people in the BPO if these things can be done by robots or machines,” Pernia said.

Basing on the study published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), some 85 percent of retail and 89 percent of BPO are threatened by the wave of automation that is sweeping the business sector.

The Philippines has a young workforce that is well immersed with technology and through this virtue, are able to pace with the evolution of IT jobs that are emerging out of technology.

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