The BPO industry in the Philippines is seeing the silver lining this year. Companies that belong to the Outsourcing & Off-shoring (O&O) space are planning to revise expansion plans “upward,” according to a survey released by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPA/P).

BPO executives who participated in this survey said they are moving towards diversifying into more complex services and will seek workforce expansion between 6% and 50% this year. The association says it is looking forward to better growth prospects.

More than just recovering from last year’s performance, the BPO market is diversifying and transforming as a result of increased demand for non-voice and complex services. One of the newest growth drivers being considered this year is Knowledge Process Outsourcing, or better known as KPO.

Brighter prospects, better revenues

The emergence of the BPO industry this past decade has made itself a key contributor to the Philippines’ economic development. In 2009, the industry earned US$ 7.2 billion, hiring around 442,000 professionals. Although the Philippines has since diversified its offerings into outsourcing and offshoring services like finance and accounting, human resource, medical and legal transcription and animation services, the voice-based contact center business remains to be the most important, and is approximately two-thirds of the overall O&O revenue.

This year, BPAP is expecting the entire BPO industry will grow by nearly a third to US$9.5 billion in revenues.