BPOs more threatened by AI than tax measures: DOF chief

The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) — not new tax measures – is the real threat to the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, according to Department of Finance (DOF) secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

DOF secretary Carlos Dominguez III. (Photo credit: dof.gov.ph)

“The development of AI around the world is very rapid and it is going to certainly hit our BPO industry. And I think we must accept that,” Dominguez said in a briefing with journalists early this week.

He said he has explained the scenario to BPO stakeholders in the past in line with the planned reform of the Philippine tax system. “I don’t know how they are preparing for it. This will inevitably hit the industry,” he said.

The DOF is pushing for the reform of incentives being given to businesses as it vies to increase revenues to finance the government’s massive infrastructure program. The Duterte administration plans to invest as least P8 trillion in its “Build, Build, Build” program.

He clarified that the rationalization initiative “will not immediately cut off any incentive” but also pointed out that “the government has no contractual obligation to give any incentives to anybody.”

“That is a privilege and that is the sovereign right of the government to change its tax incentives when (the) tax system no longer works. There is no contractual obligation,” he added. — Joann Villanueva (PNA)

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