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Coronavirus a threat to vital Philippine call centers

Virus could spur automation, hitting key Manila job creator

Business process outsourcing (BPO) employs more than 1.3 million Filipinos and generates around $25 billion in revenues a year.   © Reuters

MANILA -- Struggling to comply with strict government lockdown measures introduced to fight the coronavirus isn't the only problem facing the Philippines' vital call center industry.

Generating around $25 billion a year in revenues, nearly a tenth of the economy, and employing around 1.3 million people, the business process outsourcing sector could be decimated by the pandemic crisis and a subsequent wave of automation.

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