It seems the Philippines has been singled out by a company in Malaysia as its single biggest competitor for investment in the region. A promotional video produced by a Aegis Malaysia, a global business process outsourcing (BPO) company makes a pitch to its clients to locate their BPO needs in Malaysia by highlighting that country’s business-friendly environment and superior infrastructure. It does this by directly comparing Malaysia to the Philippines.
A certain Elcid Lao posted the video on Facebook where it elicited heated discussion.
The user included the following caption in his post:
This is the most Unethical Ad ever made. We filipinos are aware of it. But please do not directly destroy our image. Just simply broadcast the pros in your newly selected site. No need to name drop. The calamities that are happening are just a fraction of a percent of the entire year. We are aware of our government to which reforms are starting to be made but we can never control nature. Such a shame on you Aegis.
The video has also been shared on YouTube here.
In the video, the narrator asserts that “Malaysia is becoming the preferred alternate to the Philippines and is fast emerging as the ultimate destination for multinationals,” after citing the disadvantages of locating in countries where there is “inadequate infrastructure”, “an unfriendly climate for smooth operations”, “less security”, and “lack of government support”.
The Philippines was also cited as a location prone to natural disasters owing to its situation along the Pacific Ring of Fire and along the path of tropical storms. All of these were said in the video to contribute an adverse “impact to business operations” as well as “bloat” to the cost of living. The video then continues on to highlight the advantages of Malaysia as an “investor friendly” environment thanks to its government’s flexible policies and “less bureacracy”. According to the video, all these, combined with stable governance diversity in culture, and abundance of lifestyle perks, Malaysia is made out to be a “perfect balance of business and pleasure.”
The timing of the emergence of this video is interesting considering that (1) Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III happens to be in Europe as of this writing pitching the Philippines to potential investors and (2) Typhoon Fung-Wong (Mario) had recently hit Metro Manila leaving it paralysed with its floodwaters, again highlighting the challenges to business continuity as a result of years of neglect, rampant corruption, and underinvestment in essential infrastructure.
Will Filipinos see this video as another cause for acute butthurt? Or will we see this as a confronting call to action directed both at our government officials and politicians and, more importantly, to ourselves.
Stay tuned and, of course:
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.