Is The Philippines Oversaturated as a Call Center Location?

by King White, on Mar 13, 2024 8:30:00 AM

The Philippines has been one of the leading offshore destinations for call center outsourcing globally, thanks to its large, English-speaking population, high level of customer service orientation and competitive cost structure. An estimated 1.3 million call center employees work for more than 750 call center companies operating in 20 key regions of the country. The question of whether the call center industry in the Philippines is oversaturated is nuanced and depends on various factors, including market demand, the availability of skilled labor and the industry’s capacity to innovate and adapt to new technologies.

Factors contributing to concerns of oversaturation

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1.  High Concentration of Call Centers
The Philippines has attracted numerous international companies to set up their call center operations in the country, leading to a high concentration of call centers, especially in major urban areas like Metro Manila and Cebu City. This concentration raises concerns about market saturation, competition for talent and the sustainability of growth rates seen in previous years. It has also pushed many business process outsourcing (BPO) companies out into the tertiary territories where BPOs are implementing hub-and-spoke site selection strategies by creating micro-centers.

2.  Competition for Skilled Labor
With the expansion of the call center industry, there’s increased competition for skilled labor. While the Philippines has a large pool of English-speaking graduates, the demand for experienced and skilled call center agents drives up labor costs and challenges retention, which could impact the industry’s competitiveness.

3.  Global Competition
The call center industry is globally competitive, with other countries like India, South Africa and various Latin American nations also vying for a share of the market. These regions offer linguistic diversity, cost competitiveness and growing talent pools, presenting alternative options for companies considering outsourcing.

Factors mitigating the risk of oversaturation

1.  Diversification and Value-Added Services
The Philippines’ call center industry has been moving up the value chain by offering more complex and specialized services beyond traditional voice support, such as fraud prevention, analytics, digital marketing and IT support. This diversification helps mitigate risks of oversaturation in the voice segment.

2.  Continuous Demand Growth
Despite concerns, the demand for outsourced call center services continues to grow, driven by digital transformation, the need for 24/7 customer support and the expansion of e-commerce. The Philippines remains well-positioned to capture this growth, given its established reputation and infrastructure.

3.  Government Support and Infrastructure Development
The Philippine government recognizes the importance of the BPO sector to the country’s economy and has implemented policies to support its growth, including training programs, infrastructure development and economic incentives. These efforts aim to ensure the industry remains competitive and can continue to grow sustainably.


While there are concerns about potential oversaturation, particularly in certain segments or geographic areas, the Philippine call center industry continues to show resilience and adaptability. By focusing on diversification, embracing technological innovation and maintaining its competitive advantages in language proficiency and service quality, the Philippines, and the call center industry, can manage the challenges of oversaturation. However, it will require ongoing strategic planning and investment in human capital and infrastructure to ensure its long-term sustainability and growth in a highly competitive global market.

Topics:Call Center



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