Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver

Photo (L): Dr. Raquiza, Asian Center file photo. (R): Cover of The Local Impact of Globalization in South and Southeast Asia: Offshore Business Processes in Service Industries

Dr. Antoinette Raquiza, Associate Professor at the UP Asian Center, will be taking part in a seminar, "The IT-DPO as a Catalyst for Sustainable and Inclusive Service-Driven Growth: Illusion or Opportunity?" on Thursday, 7 April 2016, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seminar Room C, Balay Kalinaw, University of the Philippines Diliman. 

About the Seminar

The Seminar will cover “development impacts of the IT-BPO Boom with a focus on employability effect for workers, new middle class formation, and upgrading in supplier industries.” Below are the scope and objective of the seminar. 

Increasingly more developing countries display a combination of strong growth in services and what some call a premature decline in manufacturing. Recent developments in the Philippines are illustrative. Here, remittances from overseas workers and the rise of export-oriented business services industries (a.k.a. the IT-BPO and its scions) have fueled strong and mostly services-driven growth while manufacturing continues to experience lackluster development at best. Great uncertainty, however, remains about the inclusiveness and the sustainability of this development trajectory over the longer term. As regards the IT-BPO, so far most of the benefits have accrued to small and already relatively privileged segments of the Philippine society. It is also far from clear to what degree the industry, via spillovers, contributes to productivity gains elsewhere in the economy. Meanwhile, many IT-BPO jobs are becoming increasingly susceptible to automation, meaning that there are limits to the employment gains still to be had. A rather urgent question for the Philippines at this stage therefore is how the gains of service growth can be made to last and spread more widely throughout the country’s economy in the years to come. This seminar brings together academics from different universities and various backgrounds to engage with this question. Scholars from Manila, Mumbai, Amsterdam and elsewhere will present original research findings shedding light on the matters at stake. Themes addressed will include the spillover effects of the IT-BPO industry into supplier industries, the employability impacts experienced by ITBPO workers, the contribution the IT-BPO industry makes to new middle class formation, and more. The seminar aims to generate different views and develop a deeper understanding of what the IT-BPO and service-driven growth can and cannot offer in response to the development challenges the country faces in the post-Aquino era.

About the Speakers

Dr. Raquiza will be joined by Dr. Robert Kloosterman, Dr. Niels Beerepoot, and Dr. Bart Lambregts, all from the University of Amsterdam and editors of The Local Impact of Globalization in South and Southeast Asia: Offshore Business Processes in Service Industries, which was published by Routledge in 2015. Part of Dr. Raquiza’s presentation will be based on her chapter, "The BPO Industry in the Philippines: Boon or Bane?.”"   Read a brief excerpt from her chapter

Also speaking at the seminar are Dr. Raquiza’s fellow contributors, including Dr. Jana Kleibert (Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning in Berlin); Leian Marasigan (School of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of the Philippines); Sandhya Krishnan and Randhir Kumar (Mumbai University); and Professor Rene Ofreneo of the School of Labor and Industrial Relations.   Other speakers are Drs. Jose Ramon G. Albert and Dr. Ramonette B. Serafica (Philippine Institute for Development Studies).

About the Organizers

The seminar is organized by the University of Amsterdam and School of Labor and Industrial Relations, University of the Philippines Diliman. 

Registration and Inquiries

Seats are limited, so reservations are required. For reservations and inquiries, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences