The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

This Monday, March 1st, the Philippines administered its COVID-19 vaccination dose and general rollout – just over one year after the first reported COVID-19 case in the country.

The country launched the vaccination drive with 600,000 doses of donated Chinese CoronaVac. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III also announced that 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses earlier scheduled will be delayed for “about a week,” owing to a “global supply problem.”

While the vaccination launch seems like a step towards the new normal, Metro Manila will remain under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for the whole month of March. The decision was made despite calls from various agencies to switch to the more lax Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) lockdown restriction. However, the move was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) – with the WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe, saying that switching to MGCQ could cause an upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is pushing for long-term Work From Home (WFH) plans as companies are looking to adopt remote work as part of their hybrid operations model. In a forum, IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) Chair and Accenture Philippines Country Managing Director Lito Tayag said that they have seen productivity for employees with optimized remote models, lesser absenteeism and attrition.

>> Is that true? What are your thoughts on WFH efficacy? Take our LinkedIn poll, and let us know.  Results posted in next week’s Inside Outsourcing.

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Last year’s foreign investment pledges – as expected – hit a deep dive, falling 71% to P112.1 – however, they are now showing good signs of recovery. In January, approved investments by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) surged 139 per cent in January from a year ago. The agency approved 24 projects in the first month of 2021, which are expected to create almost 6,000 jobs.

The Philippines is expected to have an oversupply of IT graduates in four years. According to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), IT-trained workers and professionals are likely to exceed demand by 171,960 positions by the end of 2025. Though with the current demand in digital and online commerce, Inside Outsourcing is wondering if there can ever be an oversupply of digital professionals…

Despite the pandemic, new retail jobs are set to welcome Filipinos this year. IKEA Philippines is looking to generate at least 500 job opportunities for Pasay City residents. The Swedish furniture conglomerate will start its operations in the third or fourth quarter of the year. In Cebu City, an online job fair organized by the Public Service Employment Office (PESO) will offer over 1,000 jobs – with most of the jobs reportedly coming from the BPO industry. PESO commented that customer, and technical service representatives remain to be the most in-demand positions.

Sagay City in Negros Occidental is being groomed to be the next IT hub in the region. As an initial move, the local government collaborated with Filipino-owned digital jobs aggregator Virtual Workforce Professionals (VWP) to launch an IT-BPM facility in the area. The partnership is seen to initially yield 20 seats that will host highly sought after digital jobs for the city residents.

In Batangas, Japanese automobile juggernaut Yamaha recently added P2.691 billion in investments as it expanded its manufacturing operations in the country. The newly-inaugurated Yamaha Batangas plant will add an additional 1,300 jobs to its current 1,500-strong workforce. PEZA Director General Charito Plaza attended the launch, and commented that the move is “Yamaha’s testament to their commitment to further business operations in the Philippines.”

In further COVID-IATF easements, from March 1, foreign nationals with special visas will be required to present a travel pass before leaving the country, said the Bureau of Immigration (BI). BI Commissioner Jaime Morente also announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has removed the prior visa reckoning date of March 20, 2020 for aliens now allowed to re-enter the country.

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

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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