Monday, September 24, 2018
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Teleperformance counts 19th site, but future in PH gloomy

Business process outsourcing (BPO) firm Teleperformance launched its 19th site here in the Philippines, but its top official said tax reform might make it harder to further expand despite market demand.

The firm could add thousands of workers to its already 40,000-strong workforce through further expansions, according to company managing director Travis Coates.

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However, the country’s second largest industry player may have a hard to time to do so in the future if the government pushes to rationalize tax perks under the second comprehensive tax reform package.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Coates said he hoped the tax perks would not be scrapped, noting how these have enabled the company in many ways.

The House of Representatives passed early this week the Tax Reform for Attracting Better and High-quality Opportunities, or “Trabaho” bill, which will lower the corporate income tax while rationalizing tax perks.

The bill still seeks to offer tax perks such as income tax holidays but just for a few years. It will eventually remove the 5-percent gross income earned (GIE) tax applied to Peza-registered firms in lieu of all other taxes.

When asked if it would be harder to expand without the 5-percent GIE tax, he said: “I think the general answer to that question would be yes.”

He said he was not sure if there would be any immediate impact from the tax package, but noted there was an “attempt” to locate elsewhere.

“There’s certainly an attempt for the company, and all companies in our industry, frankly, to look at whether or not the ability to implement a new site and to grow within a country is as cost effective as it might be to do somewhere else,” he said.

“Obviously, none of us in this room would want this to happen. We’re very bullish of the Philippines in general. We enjoyed a very successful 22 years and we would like to see it [grow for] 22 years more at least,” he added.

The Philippines has the most number of Teleperformance sites in Southeast Asia, which Coates attributed to the demand for English-speaking workforce and for the tax incentives.

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He noted the country was “not the only” BPO destination in the world.

“There are other places to do English in the world. There’s India,” he said, citing one of the Philippines’ top competitors globally.

Telepeformance is the country’s second largest industry player in terms of the number of its workers. The company opened its latest site on Thursday at Vertis North, Quezon City.

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TAGS: Business process outsourcing (BPO), tax reform package, teleperformance, Travis Coates
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