Are Call Centers Rebranding the Philippines?

As the Global Economy's Biggest Back Office, the Nation Seeks to Depict Its Workers as Educated, Empathetic, and English Fluent

What changes in a country—and what doesn’t change—when it devotes itself to servicing the businesses of other countries?

Not long ago, I found myself looking for answers to that question in the busy Manila district of Makati, in an interview with Melvin Legarda and Joseph Santiago, executives at the organization then known as the Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines. The organization’s mission is to entice businesses outside of the Philippines to outsource back-office work like accounts receivable and medical billing and, of course, customer service and technical support call …