The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

After months of lengthy debates, the Senate finally approved the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill on its third and final reading. Once this bill is enacted into law, corporate income taxes will be lowered from 30 per cent to 25 per cent and eventually to 20 per cent by 2027. The CREATE Act’s range of tax cuts and incentives are regarded as urgent and valuable tools necessary to assist with the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

CREATE’s investor-friendly incentives might pique the interest of more foreign investors which would help the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) achieve its goal of approving more than P100 billion in investment pledges by the end of the year. So far, the promotions agency reported that registered projects with them have reached P72.6 billion in the first 10 months of the year.

It has been confirmed that the Philippines will be celebrating the festive holidays under its current lockdown conditions. President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila, as well as seven other areas, will remain under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) until the end of 2020. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted that these areas were placed under GCQ to prevent the potential surge of COVID-19 cases during the Christmas season.

Due to the restrictions and risks of the coronavirus, former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the country’s economy is unlikely to return to its pre-coronavirus level in 2021, contrary to the national government’s expectations. Pernia projects that the economy will recover to its pre-coronavirus level “in the second half of 2022.” In harmony with the somber message, reports have shown that Metro Manila’s office sector has continued to weaken in the third quarter. Property consultancy firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) said that the office segment’s vacancy rates rose to 9.5% from July to September “due to occupiers moving out,” as there were lease contract pre-terminations especially in the POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) sector and office downsizing by a few BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) firms.

Foreigners are leaving the Philippines droves and is expected to continue until at least the end of 2020. According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, a total of 1.5 million foreigners arrived in the Philippines just before travel restrictions were imposed, but two million left after many businesses hiring foreigners closed as the economy shrank.

Despite the gloom, there are still various foreign companies seeking to invest in the Philippines. Saudi Arabian pharmaceutical firm Basha’er Addawa Trading Co., for example, has signified intent to invest $30 million in manufacturing operations in the country. Once completed, the manufacturing facility is expected to generate 1,500 jobs. In addition, PEZA reported that an Israeli technology conglomerate with 16 subsidiaries in China is transferring all its operations to the Philippines by 2021. PEZA Director General Charito Plaza said the organization was set to sign a memorandum of understanding with the agency this month to formalize their intention to invest in the Philippines.

The British technology and innovation juggernaut, Dyson, has selected the Philippines to set up a dedicated innovation laboratory as part of its £2.75 billion investment in future technology. According to Chief Operating Officer Scott Maguire, Dyson will be settling in Alabang, just South of Metro Manila, and will generate 400 highly skilled jobs in software and engineering for Filipinos over the next three years. Additionally, Swedish furniture retail company IKEA announced it’s hiring 496 workers for its first Philippine – and world’s largest – store. They’re hiring Filipino staff across a wide range of vacancies, including sales associates, recovery associates, food assistants, customer service associates and others.

Locally, Davao-based BPO firm SixEleven is looking to expand its workforce to cope with its growth. The firm is looking for traffic controllers, customer service representatives, digital marketing specialists, virtual assistants, and product specialists to work across its three offices across Mindanao.

Internationally, India is looking to upgrade its partnership with the Philippines in order to build stronger trade relations in various sectors. According to India’s Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran, both countries have a very strong engagement in the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry, which provides a strong incentive for a stronger partnership between the two countries on the business side.

In our first ‘BPO sports’ news: IT company Infosys and The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) announced the renewal of their partnership. Infosys have pledged to continue to develop and accelerate innovations in advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, and Cloud, leveraging its dedicated tennis platform to deliver diverse experiences for players, media, and fans across the world.

Christmas is fast approaching – and BPOs are assessing their ‘new-normal’ options when it comes to the Christmas party. In spite of COVID putting a dampener on in-person events and live parties, it’s not stopping many BPO firms from expressing their appreciation to their employees. Clark-based cloud staffing solutions provider Cloudstaff has announced that it is shifting its massive year-end party to a virtual one this year. According to the company’s official Facebook page, ‘Cloudstaffers’ can win as much as P100,000 in the raffle, as well as other exciting prizes like phones, mountain bikes, and a smart TV. What a way to end the year!

How is your company celebrating Christmas this year?  Share your innovative Christmas ideas, and we’ll share them with the Inside Outsourcing community.

 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

1 December 2020

27 November 2020

  • PH economy ‘unlikely’ to recover in 2021, ‘perhaps in Q2 2022’ – former chief economist – read article…
  • Dyson to expand in PH, generating 400 high skilled roles in three years – read article…
  • Metro Manila real estate sector weakens in Q3 – read article…
  • BOP posts ninth month of surplus in October – read article…

26 November 2020

  • ATP and Infosys extend digital innovation partnership – read article…
  • Israeli tech conglomerate to relocate from China to PH – read article…
  • PEZA to approve P100 billion in investment pledges by year-end – read article…
  • Davao-based SixEleven BPO to expand its workforce amid pandemic – read article…

25 November 2020

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: November 25, 2020
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: December 9, 2020

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