The Philippine Senate is an odd place. It is populated by former military men who led rebellions against two former presidents, including the mother of the present occupant of the Malacañang presidential palace, President Benigo S. Aquino, III. The august chamber is led by a career bureaucrat and politician who helped overthrow martial law dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, whose son was elected to the Senate—in the same 2010 election that elevated Mr. Aquino to the presidency—by the disgraced former president’s followers and his political progeny.
Senator Ferdinand M. “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s father threw Mr. Aquino’s father in jail, and is widely believed to be—directly or indirectly—responsible for his assassination. The president’s mother, the late former president Corazon C. Aquino, came to power in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination, partly as the result of the coup co-led by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, who was her husband’s jailer and also worked to undermine her administration.
Last Friday, DTSI Group—originally a startup systems integrator and now a member of the NTT Communications Group—celebrated its 15th year providing technologies, communications, and facilities services to Philippine and international investors. About 300 clients, partners, and suppliers joined the celebration, many because “we are all special” to DTSI Group, as former Philam Life/AIA senior vice president and chief technology and information officer Romulo Cambaliza said succinctly in an anniversary message.
DTSI Group is an award-winning provider of game-changing technology, advanced communication systems, and state-of-the-art facilities to FORTUNE 1000 corporations and mid-size companies alike, according to its website. Founded by DTSI Group president and CEO Miguel Garcia, the company says it has enabled over 300,000 call center seats in the Philippines, equivalent to 60% of total industry seats in the Philippines.
“Vietnam ranks 75th this year,” the 2011-2012 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) reads, “and switches positions with the Philippines. Over the last two editions, Vietnam has lost 16 places and is now second-lowest ranked among eight members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) covered by the report.” That switch provides dramatic context for the Philippines’ jump to 65 of 144 countries surveyed for the GCR, an advance of 22 ranks since 2009.
To be sure, it’s important to anchor perception of the Philippines’ progress not just in terms of its legitimately commendable gains in competitiveness, but the low baseline from which it began the transition from economic backwater to emerging economy. The report’s authors provide that perspective, writing, “The Philippines makes important strides this year in improving competitiveness—albeit from a very low base—especially with respect to public institutions (94th, up 23 places).
According to the organizers of the International Outsourcing Summit 2012, developments in technology, expanding demand for services—especially complex services that help companies innovate for sustainable competitive advantage—and shifts in public policy as a result of prolonged global economic malaise are creating new, exciting, and sometimes frightening opportunities and challenges for the global IT-BPO industry.
They are asking the expected 500 delegates to this year’s Summit, “How is, and will, the industry respond?” The Summit takes place October 7-9 in the Philippines’ premiere central business district, Makati.
Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III is the confirmed keynote speaker for the fourth International Outsourcing Summit. Mr. Aquino will speak to approximately 500 delegates and 70 speakers and panelists on the final day of the Summit in its concluding plenary.
This will be the second year that Mr. Aquino will speak at the IOS. His acceptance comes on the heels of a widely respected and closely watched global report showing that the Philippines has dramatically improved its national competitiveness in the first two years of his administration. The Philippines has moved up 22 places since 2009 in the Global Competitiveness Report to 65 among 144 economies surveyed.