Filipino Traits & Values (2022 Update)
The reasons to outsource a company’s processes to BPO companies in the Philippines are numerous, and these include the high linguistic and cultural compatibility between Filipinos and their clients.
This factor not only affects the quality of service provided by the workforce. It also plays an important role in how office dynamics work, all the more post pandemic as filipinos increasingly start to work from home.
To conduct a harmonious and effective working relationship, both parties should take the extra mile in familiarizing themselves with the culture and values of the people they are working with.
To understand the Filipino talent and the BPO industry in the Philippines, one has to take a look at the country’s history and understand Filipino culture and traditional values.
Defining the Filipino value system
Kapwa, in Tagalog, translates to “kindred”, “neighbor”, and “fellow humans.” To live in the spirit of “pakikipagkapwa” or “camaraderie” means to embrace shared identity and to care for fellow beings.
The father of modern Filipino psychology, Virgilio Enriquez, describes kapwa as a “a moral obligation to treat one another as equal fellow human beings. We are Kapwa People.” In summary, “kapwa” is “fellow people” and Filipinos often consider other people in nearly everything they do.
“Pakikipagkapwa” calls Filipinos to act for the common good, and to make sacrifices for their community.
This concept united the Filipinos historically against Spanish and American colonial forces, and unites them today during difficult times.
Top 5 Most Important Filipino Values
Traditional Filipino values have remained the same throughout the centuries: family-centered, faith and virtue-based, sympathetic for others (pakikipagkapwa), and education-oriented. Filipinos reiterate the importance of values related to society such as good governance, love for country, honesty and integrity.
Family is the center of it all
Filipinos are known to have strong family ties. This is why it’s common to see different generations or multiple families living in a single residence.
The family is at the center of the Filipino community. Children are not expected to leave their parents’ house until they get married. Also, they’re expected to care for their aging parents instead of sending them to a retirement home.
The value that most Filipinos put into caring for one’s family can also be seen as one of the reasons why nurses and caregivers from the country provide their patients and clients with a high level of care.
Having a laugh
Optimism, humor, and positivity are valued traits in the Philippines.
Filipinos love celebrations and festivities. The country has a long list of national holidays, and many provinces and cities have their own sets of local holidays. Meanwhile, they still find quality time for their families to celebrate birthdays, Christmases, and other instances.
At the same time, in the face of difficult or challenging situations, members of the community practice resiliency, or the ability to look at the brighter side of things despite what’s happening. The inclination for finding the good in the bad can be traced to the country’s location, which lies in the path of typhoons and sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire.
In a place where natural calamities are commonplace, humor and positivity work as a coping mechanism. Resiliency and positivity help the Filipino people push forward despite hardships.
Roll With It
The term “bahala na” which can be translated to “whatever happens, happens,” is one of the more familiar phrases used in the country.
It is perhaps the most representative of how Filipinos value adaptability and quick thinking. “Just roll with it,” as the saying goes.
People who say “bahala na” do not see anything wrong with it, as it serves as a sort of positive affirmation that allows them to deal with a problem right then and there.
However, those who call it a negative Filipino trait often view it as a form of fatalistic submission or a way to absolve one from the responsibility of their actions.
Faith and religion
Spirituality is deeply embedded in the Filipino culture. A form of animism was already being practiced in many pre-colonial societies and Islam has been firmly established in the southern islands even before the pre-Hispanic era.
These days, religion still plays a big part in society and the everyday lives of Filipinos.
The Catholic Church’s views still affect the passing of some laws, most towns still hold fiestas to honor their patron saints, and many regular non-working national holidays are dedicated to celebrating various religious activities and events.
To many Filipinos, religion helps shape their values and principles.
Filipinos are naturally hospitable. Hosts can be expected to extend a very warm welcome to their guests regardless of where they come from, how well they know their host, and why they’re visiting someone’s home.
Hosts typically provide their guests with food and entertainment and, if possible, a tour around the local destinations.
In the Philippines, no one leaves with an empty stomach. Before they leave, guests are even entreated to take home their share of the feast, or pasalubong (souvenirs), which often come in the form of delicacies and local sweets.
History of the Philippines
The history of the Philippines is long and convoluted, with lots of changes, alliances and periods of occupation.
India and Arabia have been the major influences in the Philippines before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines.
Trade and commerce
Long before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines, the communities in the archipelago have been trading with China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Its location along the border of the Pacific Ocean provided the archipelago’s inhabitants the chance to interact and communicate with different groups of people.
The country’s name “Filipinas” was given by Ruy López de Villalobos in honor of Philip II of Spain (1556–1598).
The name “Philippines” began to appear in the early 17th century.
The Philippines was a Spanish colony administered under the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Governor-General of the Philippines who ruled from Manila was subservient to the Viceroy in Mexico City.
The islands were also invaded and occupied by Japan in World War II.
After the war, the Treaty of Manila established an independent Philippines.
The Philippines became an independent republic in 1946.
Spanish Occupation of the Philippines
Spanish occupation of the Philippines was an interesting period.
The Spanish Colonial Period began with the arrival of Spanish navigator Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and ended in 1898—lasting a total of 333 years.
The islands were named The Republic of the Philippines in 1543, in honor of King Philip II of Spain.
The Spanish era in Philippine history was characterized by the introduction of Christianity, the Spanish language and the Spanish culture.
The Philippines was governed by Mexico City from 1565 to 1821, by Madrid from 1821 to 1898, and was a colony of the United States of America from 1898 to 1946.
The Americans arrive
The Philippine Commonwealth was a transitional government in the Philippines prior to its independence.
Following the Spanish-American War in 1898, the United States occupied the Philippines, and in 1935 the Philippines legislature passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which granted the Philippines its independence by 1946.
In 1941, the island was invaded by Japan, but was reoccupied by the U.S. in 1945.
The Philippines were granted independence on July 4, 1946, and the first president of the independent republic was Manuel Roxas.
Languages Spoken In The Philippines
How did the American Occupation influence language in the Philippines
The American occupation of the Philippines saw the wide adoption of English as the language of instruction in schools throughout the country.
Before and after World War II, the Philippine government actively took solid steps toward establishing a national language based on Tagalog, which was used as a second language by almost half of the country’s population at the time.
In the present day, both Filipino and English are taught as academic subjects and used as languages of instruction in primary and secondary schools and universities throughout the country.
News and entertainment programs that are aired throughout the country are also often delivered in these languages, but mostly in Filipino or the region’s local language (Bisaya, Waray, Cebuano, Ilokano, etc).
Religion in the Philippines
Religion in the Philippines is central to the Filipino people and culture.
More often than not, Filipinos place their moral values in religion, particularly Catholicism and Islam.
Religion is seen as a universal value that further strengthens the family and sometimes even affects the government in power.
This shouldn’t be an issue for business owners, since BPO in the Philippines is a major driving force for the country’s economic growth.
This loosens up the tensions between the Philippine government and foreign business owners and investors, making it easy for investments to go through and for businesses to receive tax relief on top of it all.
However, since Filipino talents have strong feelings about their religious beliefs, it’s best if you keep your conversations both professional and friendly when religion gets involved.
Work Ethic In The Philippines
The Filipino work ethic refers to the set of values and principles that Filipino people bring to their working environment.
It includes diligence, perseverance, and the ability to find creative solutions to problems. The Filipino work ethic has been influenced by the country’s history, tradition, and culture.
The Filipino work ethic has been influenced by the country’s history. During the Spanish rule, Filipinos were forced to work in mines, farms, and galleons and were subjected to harsh treatment.
The Filipinos’ ability to endure hardship and danger was essential in the Philippine revolution against Spain.
The Filipino work ethic has been influenced by the country’s culture.
Filipinos are family oriented, and tend to focus on the welfare of their families. This focus on family is reflected in the Filipino work ethic.
Why The Philippines Is Arguably The World’s Top Outsourcing Destination
Top Management Tips For An Outsourced Filipino Team
1. Communicate your expectations clearly.
2. Set deadlines and stick to them.
3. Be available for questions and concerns.
4. Give feedback regularly.
5. Be patient.
In order to get the best out of your Filipino workforce, it is important to provide them with clear instructions and expectations. It is also important to give them the opportunity to voice their opinion and to be involved in decision-making.
Filipino workers are also known for their ability to work well in teams. It is important to encourage team work and to provide opportunities for team members to share their ideas and skills.
Filipino workers are also known for their ability to adapt to change. It is important to provide training and development opportunities to help them keep up with the latest trends and technologies.
By understanding the work ethic and culture of the Philippines, you can tap into the vast pool of talent and productivity that the country has to offer.
If You Hire A Filipino Outsourced Team, How Do You Pay Them?
In an outsourced capacity, there are a few different ways to pay your Filipino employees. The most common way is to use a payroll service, which will withhold the appropriate taxes and send the money directly to your employees.
Another option is to use a third-party provider, such as a Philippine-based company, to handle your payroll. This can be a good option if you have a large number of employees, as it can save you time and money.
Finally, you can also choose to pay your employees yourself. This option can be more complicated, as you will need to withhold the appropriate taxes and send the money directly to your employees. However, it can also be more rewarding, as you will have more control over how your employees are paid.
Controversy in the Payments Space
The Philippines also keeps up when it comes to technology in payment solutions. This proves how far the country has gone when it comes to financial inclusion.
In a 2019 report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), account ownership went up to 28.6%, good progress from 22.6% in 2017. Some of the unbanked citizens, meanwhile, place their money on mobile payment platforms.
With the rise of mobile payment and B2B platforms, transactions like receiving remittances, transferring allowances, and opening a savings account can now be done with a single click.
With this, Filipinos can spend more time with their loved ones and bond together with their friends. Businesses with a Filipino workforce don’t even have to worry anymore about excessive transfer fees when sending to different currencies.
But the Philippines’ leading digital payment platforms are actually owned by foreign companies. In the process, the country is losing millions of dollars.
Digital payment companies have been growing in the country, but a large chunk of the money goes to their foreign parents.
According to BusinessWorld, the Philippines is losing as much as $2 billion to foreign digital payment companies. This is due to the high service fees that these companies charge for every transaction.
With this, the country’s central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), is looking to regulate these foreign companies.
Some common payment methods include:
7-Eleven (owned by the Philippine Seven Corp)
Local banks and financial institutions are also urging the government to regulate these foreign digital payment companies.
It is also important to note that the Philippines is not the only country that is looking to do this.
China, for example, has been regulating digital payment companies for a long time. This is why Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent are not allowed to conduct financial transactions. The same goes for other foreign payment platforms.
This also gives Chinese locals more access to digital transactions.
The BSP is actually looking to regulate foreign payment companies to promote financial inclusion.
It’s also worth noting that the Philippines is one of the largest remittance countries in the world.
In 2018, the country’s remittance rate reached $33.8 billion, which is a 5.4% increase from 2017’s $31.86 billion.
In the same year, the Philippines ranked fifth in the world when it comes to remittances.
What are the main holidays in the Philippines, and do foreign companies need to observe them?
The Philippines is a country with a rich history and culture, and as such, celebrates a number of holidays throughout the year. The most important holidays in the Philippines are Christmas, New Year, and Easter, but there are also a number of other holidays that are celebrated by the country‘s large population of Christians, as well as Muslims and other minority groups.
Most holidays have fixed dates, but some holidays are declared by the President of the Philippines.
Take note that these dates may move depending on the declaration by the President, as per Republic Act 9492.
Every year, Filipino employees and employers alike, look out for the list of official Philippine holidays for the upcoming year. Once the dates are finalized, employees will start to plan their leaves and employers will start to schedule shift rosters (where applicable).
Pay attention to the long weekends that are created as a result of the holidays – staff will try and optimize these wherever possible. Also, bear in mind that additional localized holidays (i.e., Manila Day, Quezon City Day) can appear in the calendar, as well as some impromptu holidays when considered appropriate by the President.
What are the main holidays though & why are they important from a business standpoint?
Principally, employees who work on regular holidays receive 200% the sum of their daily rate plus their daily cost of living allowance. Those who work on a special holiday, on the other hand, get 130%. Freelancers or independent contractors do not receive these benefits, although may ask for them.
The Philippines has plenty of regular and special non-working holidays that celebrate national, religious, and cultural events. Regular non-working holidays refer to holidays with a fixed date, and schools and offices are typically closed on these days. These are:
January 1 – New Year’s Day
(first Thursday of April) – Maundy Thursday
(first Friday of April) – Good Friday
April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor)
May 1 – Labor Day
June 12 – Independence Day
August 30, or last Monday of August – National Heroes’ Day
November 30 – Bonifacio Day
December 25 – Christmas Day
December 30 – Rizal Day
What do Filipinos get paid on average? What are their salaries & will I save money hiring them?
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry in the Philippines has been booming in recent years. With an increasing number of companies outsourcing their business operations to BPO providers in the country, there is a growing demand for Filipino workers in this industry.
While the pay for BPO jobs in the Philippines is not as high as in some other countries, it is still competitive compared to other industries in the country.
However, there is a wide range in salaries for BPO workers in the Philippines, depending on the company, position, and experience. For example, entry-level positions may start at around PHP 30,000 (US$ 500) per month, while more experienced workers can earn up to PHP 60,000 (US$ 1000) per month or more.
Overall, the BPO industry in the Philippines is a good option for workers looking for competitive salaries and good working conditions. With the right qualifications and experience, BPO workers in the Philippines can earn good salaries and enjoy good working conditions.
The highest 10% of earners make more than $2,000 per month, while the lowest 10% of earners make less than $400 per month.
The Philippines has a relatively low cost of living. The average cost of a meal is $3. A cup of coffee can cost as low as $1. A gallon of gasoline costs $5.50.
The average Filipino worker works 40 hours per week. The legal work week in the Philippines is 48 hours. BruntWork calculates a standard working month as 173 hours.
The Philippines has a progressive tax system. The lowest tax bracket is 0%, which applies to annual incomes of up to $8,000. The highest tax bracket is 32%, which applies to annual incomes of more than $160,000.
The Philippines has a relatively high level of income inequality. The Gini coefficient, which is a measure of income inequality, was 0.47 in 2018. This means that the Philippines is more unequal than the average country.
The Philippines is a middle-income country. The World Bank classifies the Philippines as a lower middle-income country. The country had a GDP per capita of $3,470 in 2018.
The Philippines is a developing country. The United Nations classifies the Philippines as a developing country. The country has a Human Development Index of 0.66, which is considered to be medium.
The Philippines is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The country is also a member of the G-20, which is a group of the world’s largest economies.
Enter BruntWork, the Remote Only Outsourcing Firm
We’re experts at building cost-effective efficient and scalable operational teams for businesses wanting to grow fast and effectively. Since 2010 we’ve recruited and trained hundreds of staff to work in The Philippines on behalf of our clients.
Why The Philippines?
Outsourcing to the Philippines has become increasingly popular in recent years, as businesses seek to take advantage of the country’s strong economic growth and low labor costs. The Philippines is now the world’s top destination for business process outsourcing (BPO), accounting for nearly one–fifth of the global BPO market.
How Big Is Outsourcing In The Philippines?
Nearly $30 billion could be contributed by the outsourcing market to the Philippine economy each year as employment grows by 8-10% annually. The sector was among those able to operate remotely during the pandemic. The Philippines’ BPO industry has been growing rapidly, with revenues increasing from just $267 million in 2004 to an estimated $30 billion in 2022. This growth has been driven by a number of factors, including the country’s large English–speaking population, strong work ethic, and favorable time zone.
Remote Work Is The Future
In recent studies, outsourcing in the Philippines is 64% remote work and 36% on-site, however hundreds of companies have now implemented 90 to 100% remote working arrangements. BruntWork is one of the new breed of remote only outsourcers, ensuring all agents are set up with everything they need to work successfully from home.
What are the opportunity areas?
The World Bank said that the BPO sector in the Philippines could benefit from providing value-added services and implementing institutional policies. In a report, World Bank wrote that the industry could have stronger prospects for revenue growth and job generation if it strengthens its analytics and artificial intelligence verticals. Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand, said that countries that have leveraged their strengths in specific tasks and roles in manufacturing, services, and export at scale create more jobs and reduce poverty faster.
How big can I scale in the Philippines?
While BruntWork might be the leading “remote only” outsourcing firm globally, Concentrix was recognized as the biggest IT-BPO employer in the Philippines, with over 90,000 full-time employees (FTEs). So there is really no cap on how large you can grow, with the Philippines population in excess of 110 million. In a top-five IT-BPO employers list created by Colliers, Concentrix reportedly expanded and grew amid the pandemic, generating $1.34 billion in its Philippine operations.
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