The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

The Philippines has been advised that COVID quarantine restrictions will remain in place until 2022. According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the country is expected to remain under a prolonged quarantine next year, with restrictions to be removed only in 2022. Because of the extended lockdowns, the World Bank is projecting the country’s economy to shrink by as much as 8.1% this year. Malaysian investment banking and stock brokerage group Maybank also projects the Philippines to become a ‘laggard’ in Southeast Asia due to its deep economic contraction.

Bloomberg recently published an article shining a light on the Philippine economy, its COVID response and its relationship with China.  The opinion piece, which took a year for reporter Daniel Moss to orchestrate, has gained attention across the region and the country’s BPO industry. The article explores the Philippines’ fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, its contested waters, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and sinking Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Outsource Accelerator’s Founder and CEO Derek Gallimore got in touch with Daniel Moss to discuss the article. Listen to the Outsource Accelerator Podcast episode here.

As the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) celebrates the silver anniversary this year, the investments promotions agency said it has approved a total of P3.9 trillion worth of investments since its inception. PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said that from 331 firms, PEZA-registered economic zones nationwide has grown to 4,605 companies. This year though, approved foreign investments (FI) in the third quarter shrank 83 per cent to P31 billion – from P182.4 billion a year ago, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Seven out of eight investment promotions agencies included in the PSA’s quarterly report revealed decreased approved FIs. Only PEZA registered year-on-year growth in FI commitments during the July-to-September period.

The Board of Investments (BOI) is still confident that it will sustain its P1 trillion investment generation level next year and growth in exports, albeit at a slower pace. Trade Secretary and BOI Chair Ramon Lopez stated that the agency is still seeing “significant inflows,” as investment approvals reached over $15 billion for the first three quarters of the year.

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As a way to boost small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Philippines joined the Global Innovation Alliance (GIA), a Singapore-based global network that helps startups and SMEs to connect with other overseas businesses and technology hubs. Singapore’s Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan thinks this move will pave the way to more collaboration between Philippines’ and Singapore’s SMEs and tech startups.

Around 2.4 million skilled jobs may be left vacant if there are no significant reforms in education and training of workers, said House Ways and Means Chair and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda. Relatedly, PEZA is looking to transform economic zones into “townships,” where “industrial, commercial, and residential buildings are put as an integral part, so investors and workers can work, live, learn, and play in one area.” These townships will upskill workers and will serve as the economic drivers of their respective regions.

Davao-based real estate developer Damosa Land Inc. is optimistic that the country’s industrial and office leasing segments can expect to post considerable growth next year – naming the expansion of SixEleven Global Teleservices as one of the reasons. The company’s First Vice President Ricardo Lagdameo said that other BPO companies will be looking outside of Metro Manila to either set up a new office or to expand their existing offices because of cost efficiencies.

More BPO companies are continuing to expand their workforce, seemingly unaffected by the pandemic. In the US, IT giant TCS is looking to hire an additional 10,000 employees by 2022. This is after finishing the construction of its new facility in Austin, Texas.

Back in the Philippines, leading cloud services provider Cloudstaff announced that its board of directors has appointed Andrea De Guzman as Chief Human Resource Officer, effective 1 December 2020. De Guzman will join the Cloudstaff executive team with a key focus on workforce planning and talent development as the company continues its rapid growth phase.

Last week, Outsource Accelerator reported that 25 BPO employees in Subic Bay Freeport had tested positive for COVID-19. The company, Buwelo BPO Solutions, recently released a statement promising to implement stricter COVID-19 measures. CEO Kevin Charles said that they’ll implement “localized lockdowns,” and that they’ll allow over 700 of its employees to temporarily work from home to minimize health risks and perform top-to-bottom disinfection of company premises.

This is Inside Outsourcing’s last newsletter for the year. We’ll be back on January 6th with the latest outsourcing news and updates. Happy Holidays!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

15 December 2020

14 December 2020

11 December 2020

  • BOI to maintain P1tn investment generation in 2021 – Lopez – read article…
  • Mexican business group signs outsourcing agreement, private sector doubtful – read article…
  • Davao office segment to grow in 2021 – read article…
  • PEZA-approved investments reach P3.9tn in 25 years – read article…

10 December 2020

  • Everise to be sold to Brookfield Asset Management – read article…
  • PH an Asean ‘economic laggard’ – Maybank – read article…
  • Over 300 illegal foreign workers arrested in Tarlac – read article…
  • IT-BPO firms TCS, Infosys, Wipro to extend WFH policy until March 2021 – read article…

9 December 2020

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: December 9, 2020
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: January 6, 2021

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