The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, April 29, 2021

Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The outsourcing sector has had a bumper year, despite the pandemic – according to IBPAP (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines). The Philippine IT-BPM (Information Technology and Business Process Management) sector raised its total industry headcount to 1.32 million last year, and has registered a 1.8% revenue growth.

The BPO sector has also been credited as the main support for the country’s struggling office segment. According to AREIT Inc., the Philippines’ first real estate investment trust (REIT), 99 percent of its buildings are occupied and contracted long-term by BPO tenants. AREIT’s  President and Chief Executive Officer Carol Mills is further expecting the continuous need for outsourcing, especially “now that the global economy is recovering.”

However, despite the rising office space demand within the BPO sector, real estate company Colliers Philippines said that the BPO growth is unlikely to offset the dramatic losses from the exodus of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). While Santos Knight Frank’s senior director of occupier services Morgan McGilvray also predicted that BPO office demand could see a surge once offices are allowed to return to their pre-COVID 100 per cent capacity, instead of the current 50% maximum capacity limit. For now, outsourcing firms’ expansion is focused on remote work, said McGilvray.

Taking a more conservative view, economist Andrew Masigan, in an opinion piece for BusinessWorld, wrote that the country’s IT-BPM industry is facing ‘serious’ threats and that the  road ahead “does not look promising,” due to the rise of chatbots and Artificial Intelligence. Masigan opined that the government “has not acted fast enough” to help the industry. 

This week, the Philippines reached the unfortunate milestone of surpassing one million COVID-19 cases this week, making it just the 26th nation in the world to breach that mark. The country recorded 8,929 new infections on Monday, which is lower than its recent peak of 15,000 cases in early April, and most regions remain in a moderated level of lockdown. The Philippine vaccine czar, Carlito Galvez Jr., made efforts to reassure the country, saying that it will see the impact of its COVID-19 vaccination efforts by October or November. Galvez stated that the majority of residents in highly urbanized cities will be inoculated by then.

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To help with the COVID concerns, investments promotions agency Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is offering to assist company locators through tax- and duty-free importation of COVID-19 vaccine doses. This is potentially a helpful initiative as more BPO companies are looking to procure vaccine doses for their own employees.

Australian-owned offshore staffing firm Staff Domain, for example, acquired over 500 vaccine doses, which are expected to arrive in Q3. Staff Domain will set up a COVID-19 vaccination program for its Philippine employees and their families free of charge, as part of their initiative to protect and maintain the health and safety of its employees. Another Australian outsourcing firm Emapta has finalized the pre-order of 7,000 Moderna vaccine doses to be provided to its 3,500 employees around the country.

More job opportunities are available in other rising cities outside Metro Manila. According to Philip Gioca, country manager of JobStreet Philippines, job offerings in Central Visayas grew by nine per cent. In addition, Western Visayas recently jumped 44 per cent in job openings, while Davao Region reported a 26 per cent increase in job postings. Lawmakers are starting to take notice, and support the great potential of Philippine provinces. The House Committee on Ways and Means recently approved seven bills to create special economic zones in strategic locations around the country, including Cebu, Bacolod, Bohol, and Iloilo.

The same committee introduced the “Ease of Paying Taxes Act,” one of the first notable amendments to cater to the changes brought about by the recently-enacted Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprise Act (CREATE). The bill proposes a taxpayer classification system based on the taxpayer’s capacity to comply. It also recommended the relaxation of the rules on filing of returns and payment of taxes.

In other BPO news, full-service outsourcing firm OfficePartners360 announced the appointment of Aaron Fischer as the company’s chief customer officer, effective March 1st, 2021. Fischer, through this newly-created role, is set to further the company’s new business acquisition strategy to support its goals.

The outsourcing sector is alive and well all around the world! Overseas, leading South African staffing provider iContact recently hired 100 agents within three days to cater to its US-based client. The firms’ agents will provide outbound lead generation and sales, as well as recalls for the automotive industry.

 

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Thursday, April 29, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

28 April 2021

27 April 2021

26 April 2021

  • Lawmakers work on crafting improved tax compliance after CREATE’s passage – read article…
  • Staff Domain Inc. to set up free vaccination program for employees – read article…
  • OP360 welcomes new chief customer officer – read article…
  • IT-BPO posted employment and revenue growth in 2020 – read article…

23 April 2021

  • Ibex awarded three Top BPO Workplace Award by Great Place to Work® – read article…
  • PH to see impact of COVID-19 vaccination by year-end – read article…
  • PEZA to assist locators on vaccine procurement – read article…
  • Mexican Congress approves legislation limiting outsourcing – read article…

22 April 2021

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