The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, July 8, 2021

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The world’s leading outsourcing marketplace and advisory Outsource Accelerator (who else?) has announced a $1.5 million special purpose fund for strategic online asset acquisition.

OA contributed $300,000 and has secured a $1.2 million equity-free facility from US-based fintech Capchase. The acquisition strategy will add further fuel to Outsource Accelerator’s growth targets and global prominence. “This equity-free funding enables us to fulfil our aggressive growth objectives through the acquisition of strategic web assets, whilst at the same time retaining full ownership and control of the company… I am really excited to educate the world about the Philippine outsourcing sector. The talented professionals, scalable offshore solutions, and world-beating prices deserve global recognition – and that’s what we’re working on,” said Outsource Accelerator CEO Derek Gallimore.

>> Read the full article here.

Due to the recent passing of the much anticipated CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) Law, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) is looking at a “P6 billion increment” or seven per cent hike in approved investments in economic zones. PEZA deputy director general Tereso Panga said the agency has “a strong basis for this projection because of the increasing FDI (foreign direct investments).” To help reach its goal, the investment promotions agency is set to seek clarification from the President’s Office to see if the development of economic zones in Metro Manila can now resume. Inside Outsourcing previously reported that President Rodrigo Duterte, through Administrative Order (AO) 18 in 2019, banned PEZA from accepting, processing or evaluating applications for the creation of ecozones in Metro Manila to give way to ecozones in the provinces.

Clark, Pampanga, was named by real estate firm JLL Philippines as an attractive and alternative investment destination to Metro Manila. According to JLL Philippines’ Capital Markets Director Ian Perez, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms remain to be one of the key drivers for the demand in office spaces in the area.

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While BPO companies remain the biggest market for office spaces, outsourcing firms are calling for the extension of tax incentives provided to firms under the Work-From-Home (WFH) arrangement – which was supported by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III noted that the sector is “one of the most important drivers of our economy,” adding that the country “need[s] to provide the industry the support it needs to reach its growth targets and potentials, especially now that we recover from the effects of the pandemic.”

Creative Economy Council of the Philippines (CECP) President Paolo Mercado is optimistic that online creative freelancing will be the next major outsourcing sector. In an event, Mercado noted that around 1.3 to 1.5 million Filipinos are already working on global platforms for freelancing services, including web design, multimedia content, and editing. Cebu’s outsourcing sector, on the other hand, is looking to invest in innovation and technology to regain faster growth. Cebu IT-BPM Organization (CIB.O) President Pert Cabataña said they will hold a virtual summit this July 12 to 15 to “boost new innovations and ecosystem development.”

In line with this fervent growth, the Philippine BPO industry has been warned “to not lower its guard” regarding cyberattacks as the country is “a prime target” of hackers and cybercriminals. Ian Lim, field chief security officer of cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks, encourages the Philippines “to do more” in protecting the BPO industry because of the strong possibility of online attacks.

UK-based think tank GlobalData projected a disappointing five per cent GDP growth for the Philippine economy – a prediction that falls below the government’s target of six to seven per cent growth. GlobalData cited the vaccination rollout and lockdown possibilities as reasons that may curb economic recovery. However, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. stated that the country is expecting the delivery of 13.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine this July. As of June 27, over 2.5 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated from the virus. Further, the Department of Health (DOH) declared that the Philippines is a “low-risk area for COVID-19,” due to the decreasing number of cases nationwide.

In Davao City, Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata called for the urgent inoculation of BPO employees and workers under the A4 priority sector. The councilor said that industry workers were having difficulties in abiding by health protocols due to the workplace setup. In a collaborative move led by the different outsourcing firms in the city, a total of 1,711 BPO employees were treated with their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine in a three-day industry-based vaccination drive held from June 30 to July 2. Meanwhile, Eric Manalastas, president of the BPO Association of Davao and CEO of Next BPO Solutions, said they had requested for additional doses from the City Health Office (CHO) on top of what was first given to them in the activity to fast-track the vaccination rollout for the city’s 50,000 BPO employees.

Despite the private and government sectors’ efforts to bring everything back to normal, the country is faced with some unfortunate news. A report released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) named the Philippines among the ten worst countries for workers in the world. The report noted that the Philippine government’s abuses against workers’ rights were “at an all-time high” since ITUC started documenting them eight years ago.

Further, Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (Sentro), a local labor group, backed the report. In a statement, the group said, “Under the Duterte government, many trade unionists have been murdered across the country. The report listed seven murdered leaders and 28 arrested unionists from March 2020 to April 2021.”

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What do you think of this? Is this really the reality for Filipino workers? Let us know!

 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

7 July 2021

  • PEZA partners with two provincial universities to kick-start future drive – read article…
  • PH is ready for digital trade, said DTI and PIDS – read article…
  • Almost 2K BPO employees in Davao received COVID-19 vaccine – read article…

6 July 2021

  • PHIVOLCS warns of possible Taal Volcano eruption as gas emissions records rise – read article…
  • PH now classified as low-risk for COVID-19 – read article…
  • Cebu BPO sector to invest in innovation and technology – read article…
  • PH listed among the 10 worst countries for workers in the world – read article…

5 July 2021

2 July 2021

  • Davao City Councilor calls for an urgent vaccination for BPO sectors – read article…
  • Singapore-based field chief security officer urges PH to protect the BPO industry better – read article…
  • PH’s next key outsourcing sector could be online creative freelancing – read article…
  • BPO firm ordered by SC to pay former employee’s back wages – read article…

1 July 2021

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