The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, June 3, 2021

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Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry recorded an enviable 1.4% of growth last year – not bad considering we’re still in the middle of a global health crisis!

According to data released by the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the BPO sector generated $26.7 billion in revenues in 2020. Eighty-seven per cent of IBPAP’s BPO member companies are optimistic about growth prospects as they expect five to 15% growth this 2021.

But who really knows? Are the numbers actually accurate?

As the BPO industry seems to remain unfazed by the current economic crisis, data released by the Monster Employment Index (MEI) reveals that the sector recorded a 12% growth in online hiring demand in April 2021 compared to last year’s data.

To further attract more economic opportunities, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has identified 21 potential economic zones in the countryside to cater to “different types of industries.” In a statement, PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said they hope to establish more pharma ecozones and Knowledge, Innovation, Science and Technology (KIST) parks; aqua-marine and renewable-energy parks; mineral processing ecozones; halal hubs and production; and defence industrial complexes.

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The investment promotions agency is trying to woo global pundits by promoting the Philippines as an “investment haven.” Virtually, PEZA is strengthening its partnership with the Philippine Embassy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, saying they will “invite our Saudi Arabian investors to visit the economic zones where they can locate their industries once they decide to invest in the Philippines.” In addition, PEZA is also tapping into the hearts (and wallets) of American firms. During the virtual General Membership Meeting (GMM) spearheaded by the American Chamber (AmCham) of Commerce of the Philippines, Plaza seeks strengthened ties with US companies, which are collectively the third-largest foreign investor by nationality.

Financial services firm Moody’s Analytics said the Philippines will only achieve 5.3% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth this 2021. Moody’s noted that the local economy “isn’t forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels of output until the end of 2022.” Despite this, debt watcher S&P Global Ratings reconfirmed the country’s current BBB+ credit rating. S&P is confident that the Philippines “will continue to have good economic recovery prospects once the COVID-19 pandemic is contained, and that the government’s fiscal performance will strengthen accordingly.”

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) revised the country’s lockdown status on June 1 as promised. Metro Manila, as well as the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal, will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions until June 15, unless extended (again). This quarantine restriction means that industries are allowed to reopen at a limited capacity. While health experts have reported the improvement in the country’s COVID-19 situation, the IATF decided to extend the imposition of the heightened GCQ.

Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Manila Office Investment and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) advisor Tomihiro Ando recently provided an encouraging assessment of the Philippines from a Japanese perspective.  Ando said Japanese businesses see the country as an appealing investment destination for manufacturing, since its “young demographic, large market base, and relatively stable salaries” are “very attractive.

For a quick vaccine update: we have previously reported various outsourcing firms across the country procuring one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine through tripartite agreements with Go Negosyo and other partners. These jabs are now expected to arrive in the country in the second half of the year. Overall, the entire Philippines has administered over five million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of May. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said over one million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated – less than one per cent of the population. At this rate of vaccination, the more sceptical observer might wonder if the administration will achieve its stated target to achieve herd immunity by year-end…

In other news, the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP) has elected a new set of Board of Directors and Officers for 2021-2023. After his sensational stint as the association’s president for ten years, Alvin Juban is now GDAP’s Chairman. Alvin has done great work representing the country’s game development sector and has seen it explode in prominence during his tenure. Thank you for your work, Alvin!

>>> Listen: Revisit our recent podcast interview with Alvin Juban – recorded Sep 2020

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Are promises made to be broken? Before, US President Joe Biden promised to create more manufacturing jobs for Americans. However, reports show that most of the manufacturing jobs in The Vineyard Wind Project – a project meant to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 homes in New England by 2023 – now, “will actually be created in Europe.” Commercial leader of U.S. offshore at General Electric’s renewable division Christy Guthman said opening a local factory would be “costly, time-consuming, and would require permits and large amounts of space near the coast.” Hence, they resorted to outsourcing – sweet irony.

Hopefully, the Philippines can pick up the Vineyard’s customer service and billing account.

 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

2 June 2021

  • Teleperformance Davao placed under lockdown due to increased COVID-19 cases – read article…
  • BPO firms expect to achieve 5-15% growth this year – read article…
  • PH administered 5M COVID-19 vaccine jabs by May – read article…
  • BPO sector records 12% growth in online hiring demand – read article…

1 June 2021

31 May 2021

28 May 2021

27 May 2021

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