The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, August 26, 2021

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The one million new jobs promised by the private sector is unlikely to be accomplished by the end of the year due to the quarantine restrictions, said the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP). ECOP Governor and chair of Jobs Creation Committee Ferdinand Ferrer said “there is a difficulty” in completing the pledged one million jobs. Despite the challenges, ECOP collaborated with the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force to still push the fulfilment of the pledge by the close of 2021.

The National Capital Region (NCR) will start the ‘-ber’ months (aka the beginning of the Christmas season) under lockdown. Starting August 21 until 31 (unless extended), NCR and the province of Laguna will be under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the latest qualifications “are without prejudice to the strict implementation of granular lockdowns.”

Economic analysts slashed the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast as a result of the adverse impacts of the lockdown restrictions. American financial services firm S&P Global Ratings lowered its Philippine GDP forecast from six per cent to 4.3%. S&P senior economist Vincent Conti stated that the floods in certain parts of the country, as well as the reimplementation of lockdowns “has significantly eroded what would have been a highly favorable base effect for the country.” Additionally, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) also adjusted the country’s GDP projection from a six-to-seven per cent forecast to just four-to-five per cent growth. In a statement, the DBCC said that their strategy is “to continue managing the risks carefully by imposing granular quarantines while allowing a vast number of people to earn a living.”

Meanwhile, the healthy Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is set to hire more tourism workers that have been displaced by the pandemic. In a statement, the Department of Tourism (DOT) expressed its gratitude to the outsourcing industry for generating job opportunities. The agency will also be holding a number of virtual job fairs in partnership with the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), as well as outsourcing firms like Alorica and iQor to help displaced tourism workers “regain their livelihood and resume their career growth.” Down south, the BPO sector is named among the highest investment contributors in the Davao Region. According to Damosa Land First Vice President and Davao ICON chairperson Ricardo Lagdameo, the region “has become ripe for many types of investments despite the pandemic.” Lagdameo added that various industries in the region thrived amid the crisis.

While on the topic of investments, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) research center by year-end. During a recent Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines’ Fireside Chat, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez stated that the AI industry will be a “future source of foreign exchange revenues” similar to the contributions made by the BPO sector. Lopez is confident that the Philippines has a strong potential in the AI industry “due to its available talent pool and graduates of science and technology, engineering, and mathematics.”

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In addition, the Board of Investments (BOI) is looking to attract more foreign aerospace investment after automotive and aircraft parts maker Daiwa Seiko Philippines recently earned an internationally recognized aerospace standard (AS9100D) certification. In a statement, BOI Executive Director Ma. Corazon Dichosa said that this is the “key to attracting foreign aerospace companies to set up manufacturing operations in the Philippines.” In line with this achievement, the Philippine aerospace industry roadmap is expected to generate $2.57 billion in parts and components exports. It also aims to employ around 15,000 workers by 2022.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and investments promotions agency Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) recently signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) to improve the protection of economic zones from disasters. Under the MOU, the two agencies shall collaborate to provide necessary inputs and conduct disaster preparedness programs and initiatives within PEZA ecozones and locators.

The Philippines’ average internet speed improved in July to 71.17 megabits per second (Mbps) for fixed broadband, a clear upgrade from June’s 66.55 Mbps average speed, according to data reported by Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index. Despite this ‘improvement,’ the country currently ranks 63rd out of 180 countries for fixed broadband and fifth out of 10 countries in internet speed in ASEAN. Slow and steady wins the race, folks!

In COVID news, the Philippines recorded its highest daily tally of COVID-19 infections since the pandemic started last year, reaching 18,332 cases on Monday alone. The August 23 bulletin released by the Health Department, announced that there were 466 new Delta variant cases in the country. According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the Delta variant is now “roaming freely” in Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog Region. However, she added that the DOH “would need further evidence” to officially confirm this.

Stay socially distanced and get vaccinated as soon as you can! Let’s beat this virus!

 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

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NEWS THIS WEEK

 

25 August 2021

24 August 2021

23 August 2021

20 August 2021

19 August 2021

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