The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, January 20, 2021

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THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Private sector businesses across the Philippines are striking their own deals for the COVID vaccine roll out.

Private companies, as well as Local Government Units (LGUs), across the country, are taking matters into their own hands, as they sign deals with British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to procure the sought-after COVID-19 vaccines. Reports suggest that majority of Metro Manila cities have already secured doses of the vaccine for their respective constituents. Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, who is spearheading the initiative,  said over 200 private companies are set to sign a tripartite deal with the British drugmaker and the national government.

Update: Inside Outsourcing is aware of a new current offering of the vaccine – this time the Moderna vaccine – with expressions of interest closing on Thursday 21st Jan. A collective minimum order of 50,000 does is required with each person needing two doses and each dose priced at $25 – with a suggested distribution date of May.

This free-market free-for-all raises a number of concerns – not least with ethicality and fairness, certainty of delivery and even the authenticity of the vaccine. Further, there are reports of concerning clauses within the agreements stating that even if you have paid, you are not guaranteed delivery (or refund).

>>> Know anything? Please get in touch with Inside Outsourcing if you have any further information on the matter.

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VXI Philippines has been one of the first BPOs to publicly announce its intention to deliver free COVID-19 vaccinations to its entire Philippine workforce of 20,000 employees. Their program, “A Dose of Hope,” is an example of the partnership between Concepcion’s Go Negosyo, the government, and AstraZeneca.

Credit rating company Moody’s Investors Services projects that the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by seven per cent this year, as it recuperates from the adverse economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the national recovery is “within sight,” as the it “bounce[s] back and heal[s] as one.” And the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has added to the ‘bouncing and healing’, by announcing that by 2025, the country will be a “coinless society,” as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the country’s push to digitize financial transactions.

Investments approved by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) reached P95 billion last year, declining 19 per cent from 2019’s P117 billion. Approved investments for the Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector also dropped last year to P17.41 billion, slightly lower than the P17.58 billion in 2019. Despite this, commercial real estate agency Lobien Realty Group (LRG) reported that the PEZA and outsourcing sector “again dominated” the demand for office space in 2020, especially with the exit of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

In spite of global economic gloom, demand for technology and IT-BPO outsourcing is resilient and strong, benefiting from the impact of COVID and lockdown changes. According to the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines Inc (SEIPI), they’re seeing a seven per cent increase in the demand for technologies that support the “new normal.” Whilst overseas, a report shows that European firms have boosted their spend, also by seven per cent, from the previous year on IT-BPO outsourcing in 2020.

Two international BPOs this week have helped to affirm that the sector is flourishing amid the pandemic. IT consulting company Infosys recently announced that its revenue and operating profit climbed 12.3% and 30.1% respectively. The firm reported that it earned a US$3.6 billion revenue and US$923 million operating profit for the third quarter ended December 31, 2020. Wipro, on the other hand, said its IT services revenue grew by just 1.3% year-on-year to $2 billion for the December 2020 quarter, but managed to post a 21 per cent increase in consolidated net profit for the quarter.

American multinational, Cognizant is set to acquire cloud transformation consultancy group Linium – its seventh cloud-related acquisition since January 2020. Cognizant previously announced $1.4 billion in acquisitions over the past 12 months in areas such as cloud, data and artificial intelligence, digital engineering, and Internet of Things (IoT).

After more delays on the much-awaited tax reforms, 51 business groups in the Philippines joined forces to renew its call for the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill, saying that businesses need this “historic economic reform” to rebound from the effects of the pandemic. The groups said, “After three years of deliberation, every day of delay comes at the risk of losing more jobs and hemorrhaging more investments.” Inside Outsourcing announced back in November that the Senate passed the third and final reading of the bill on November 27, 2020.

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>>> Got any burning news? Share your industry hot scoops and company press releases with Inside Outsourcing – the world’s leading outsourcing news hub.

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

19 January 2021

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