The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, June 24, 2021

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Even as the nationwide COVID-19 inoculation ramps up, the Philippines is only likely to achieve herd immunity by 2023 due to the country’s relatively slow vaccination pace, said UK-based think tank Pantheon Macroeconomics

As of June 21, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines has administered eight million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine – translating to 1.9% of the population now fully vaccinated.  It’s a long way from the earlier projection of inoculating 70 million people by the end of the year.

However, this week, the Philippines signed a supply agreement of 40 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine – its biggest vaccine procurement to date. The country has now secured the delivery of 113 million doses overall, and Pfizer deliveries are expected to begin in late September.

Despite the slow progress, economic pundits are expecting the economy to be fully reopened and back to strength soon. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III admits that the Philippines “may be behind” other neighboring economies. However, he said “the country’s recovery will be stronger on the back of its sound economic fundamentals.”

Private employers have collectively pledged to create one million jobs over the next six months – focusing on the outsourcing, electronics, construction, and tourism industries. According to Employers Conference of the Philippines (ECOP) Chairman George Barcelon, the multisectoral jobs pledge will be signed by the IT Business Process Management Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), as well as government signatories such as Departments of Labor and Employment, Trade and Industry, and Tourism by month-end.

In other efforts to further boost the manufacturing sector’s recovery, the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) launched its Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMCEN), a facility that aims to be an advanced manufacturing hub offering industrial design and development, as well as rapid prototyping. Further, local audio-post production firm Hit Productions said the Philippines “is set to take on a higher role in audio production for global film, television, music, gaming, advertising, and other key creative industries,” adding that the country has “the potential to serve as a hub for audio production in the global stage.”

The Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry remains one of the key economic drivers in Cebu. Cebu IT-BPM Organization (CIB.O) President Pert Cabataña said that despite the pandemic, the industry has not declined. In addition, Cabataña urged investors to look at Cebu as a potential IT-BPM business relocation and expansion destination, adding that they shouldn’t exclusively focus on the often-cited Tholons’ ranking report. To recall, Cebu plummeted to 52nd place this year from its 15th spot in the Top 100 Super Cities by Tholons in 2020.  #CebuToTopTholons

In BPO property news, major real estate firm and top outsourcing lessor Megaworld is looking to raise ₱27.3 billion ($567 million) for the Philippines’ largest real estate investment trust offering. The company is placing 10 of its top buildings into the REIT with a total value of ₱55 billion and will offer up to 1.24 billion shares at up to 22 pesos apiece. Megaworld told investors that the buildings were 95% occupied, with ‘mostly BPO companies’, ‘superior BPOs’ and ‘no POGOS’. While it didn’t indicate a timetable for the initial public offering, Megaworld says it’s planning to “reinvest the net proceeds from the offer in 16 [new] projects all over the country.”

Additionally, the office landlord moved to further minimize its exposure to the less than popular  Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). POGOs’ share on Megaworld’s total office portfolio is now just six to seven per cent – a 50% cut from its pre-pandemic peak of 11 to 14%.  The drop in tenants didn’t concern the landlord though with the firm’s Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Andrew Tan saying that the POGO-vacated properties were easily taken up by BPOs.

If you want to be free – get vaccinated. The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 is now formulating the divergent standard quarantine protocols for vaccinated Filipinos – whether they’re inoculated in the country or abroad. “We want the policy for the vaccinated individuals to be fair and consistent. Because we have to remember that even vaccinated people can still get infected, especially now that we have new variants,” said NTF chief implementer Galvez. 

Sounds complicated!

Further, the Philippines extended its restrictions on travelers from South Asian countries India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman up to June 30. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said these restrictions are imposed as part of the government’s efforts to ensure “strict border control” and prevent the spread of the B.1617 “double mutant” variant of COVID-19.


Thursday, June 24, 2021



23 June 2021

22 June 2021

21 June 2021

  • Same quarantine protocols eyed for Filipinos vaccinated in and out of PH – read article…
  • Davao City lifts lockdown restrictions of three BPO offices – read article…
  • Australia pledges P480 million to Philippines for COVID-19 vaccine purchase – read article…

18 June 2021

17 June 2021


Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: July 8, 2021
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: July 1, 2021

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.