The Outsourcing Week in Review: Thursday, September 23, 2021

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The Work-From-Home (WFH) arrangement for the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector will be extended until March 2022. Under Resolution No.19-21 issued by the Fiscal Incentives Review Board (FIRB), outsourcing companies located in the country’s special economic zones are permitted to have remote working arrangements for up to 90% of their operations until January 1 next year, after which 75% of WFH operations can continue until the end of March.

Remote working or not, the Philippine IT and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry is not showing any signs of slowing down. Former IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) President and CEO Rey Untal took pride in the sector’s continued resilience and agility during the pandemic, as it recorded a 1.8% employment increase and 1.4% revenue growth last year. Untal also credited the success of the IT-BPM industry to the de-risking strategies implemented by global companies during the height of the pandemic. The former IBPAP head said that these efforts could result in a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) that is higher than the originally projected 5.5% and forecasted export revenue of around $29 billion by 2022.

The PH outsourcing industry this week was in the spotlight with an in depth article by Nikkei Asia. Outsource Accelerator CEO Derek Gallimore was interviewed for the article and commented that the BPO sector has been “resilient during crises” in the country and is known to withstand “recessions and depressions.”

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is urging the governing bodies to create new policies and programs in regards to a recent report of a widening digital gap among enterprises in the Philippines. The report revealed that only the large firms with foreign direct investment in key cities are able to adopt high-level technologies in their operations, while smaller companies are stuck with limited access to digital resources.

In other parts of the digital economy, cybersecurity firm Kaspersky detected over 4.8 million cyberattacks in the Philippines from January to June this year alone — almost double the total attacks from last year’s total figures. In response, DTI is pushing for the implementation of the Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy (i3S), a project centered on innovation, science, and technology to boost the Philippines’ adoption of industry 4.0.

To further enhance the remote work experience in the country, the House of Representatives recently approved the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act on its final reading. This newly implemented Act will create the Philippine Creative Industries Development Council, which will be responsible for boosting the sector, driving sustainable development, and creating inclusive job opportunities for creative professionals. The Speaker of the House of Representatives stated, “With this bill — together with the innate and natural talent of our people — we foresee the Philippine creative industries being at par with, if not exceeding, the world’s pool of talents in the coming years.”

Other measures are also being introduced to help in the country’s economic recovery post-pandemic. Recently, the Philippine government included the shipbuilding sector in the list of industries that could enjoy the economic benefits stated in the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act. The incentives presented in the CREATE Act — such as reduced corporate income tax and exemption to import duties including Value Added Tax (VAT) — are expected to revive the sector and attract foreign investors towards the local shipbuilding market.

Thankfully, businesses still see the Philippines as an attractive investment destination. Southeast Asian payments infrastructure start-up Xendit will further expand its Philippine operations after securing US$150 million Series C funding from high profile foreign investors. Xendit CEO and managing director Yang Yang Zhang said that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and its forward-thinking policies helped make their entry into the economy “more compelling.” Zhang added that they aim to accelerate the “growth of the Philippine digital economy” while introducing their firm to the global community.

In COVID news, the Philippines ranked eighth among the countries with the most COVID-19 cases in the past 28 days, according to Johns Hopkins University and Medicine (JHU). Based on a post from JHU Dashboard, the country has recorded 527,114 COVID-19 cases in the last 29 days with an overall total of 2,366,749 cases as of September 19. In line with this, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) President Dr. Maricar Limpin said that the country is experiencing its fourth and “most severe” wave of COVID-19 infections. Limpin also stated that the current wave has not reached its peak despite recording over 26,000 new cases in only one day. Here’s to hoping for the end of this wave.

To help in alleviating this problem, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. reported that the country has received its highest volume of vaccine delivery in a week, with over 9.5 million doses shipped over the weekend. The majority of the vaccines obtained were manufactured by Sinovac, followed by Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca — including second dose Sputnik vaccines, and the 660,000 doses purchased by the private sector. Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said that the vaccines purchased by private firms will help stop the spread of the Delta variant in the country and allow the reopening of the economy.

For some positive news, the Philippines jumped over 40 spots to 51st place in the latest Global Innovation Index (GII). It has joined three other middle-income countries that are all systematically catching up in innovation over the last decade. The United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also included thePhilippines – referring to it as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ – among the top 30 nations in the index’s “Knowledge and Technology Outputs” pillar, as it became recognized as a world leader in the high-tech export industry.

Let’s all get vaccinated, eliminate COVID and get on with world domination!

Thursday, September 23, 2021



22 September 2021

  • PH adds shipbuilding sector in CREATE Act to attract investors – read article…
  • Digital gap potentially worsening in PH firms – DTI Undersecretary – read article…
  • De-risking strategies implemented to help the PH BPO industry – read article…
  • Moody’s forecasts steady policy rate for BSP – read article…

21 September 2021

20 September 2021

17 September 2021

16 September 2021

  • Christmas season to sustain growth trajectory of the export industry – PHILEXPORT – read article…
  • PH BPO industry shows resilience amid pandemic – read article…
  • Sound macroeconomic fundamentals continue to support PH economic recovery – BSP – read article…
  • DTI pushes for i3S implementation to boost industry 4.0 efforts – read article…

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: September 21, 2021
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: September 28, 2021

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Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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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.