The Outsourcing Week in Review: Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Welcome to Inside Outsourcing: The Outsourcing Week in Review

THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Oops, they did it again. The Greater Manila Area (comprising Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Rizal, and Laguna) is back under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) – the strictest form of lockdown, from March 29 until at least April 4.

The IATF and the government reticently swung into action in response to skyrocketing new daily COVID cases – as numbers reach 10,000 daily, nearly double that of the first major surge peak back in August 2020. All ‘NCR Plus’ areas have a tightened curfew (6pm to 5am) and all non-essential businesses are closed, others are limited to a 50 per cent capacity and malls and restaurants are shuttered.

Economists are worried that these restrictions will reverse any economic recovery made in the first quarter of 2021. According to John Paolo Rivera, an economist at the Asian Institute of Management, the country’s economic growth rate will be slow further “because the recovery path is not consistent.” He added that the hard lockdowns may cause investors “to divert their funds to economies with more stable economic outlook.

LAST CALL: How has your BPO performed during COVID?
Run a Philippine BPO? Outsource Accelerator is conducting a survey to gauge how the PH outsourcing industry has fared during the last 12 months of COVID.  Spare 2 minutes to answer this quick survey form.

Business groups are also getting impatient with the government’s current efforts. The private sector wants the government to “seriously consider” the measures that can help boost economic recovery, like mass vaccination programs and the enactment of the proposed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill. Makati Business Club (MBC) chairman Ed Chua noted that the sense of urgency “does not seem to be there” as CREATE is still not signed into law.

GET 3 FREE QUOTES: 700+ BPO SUPPLIERS
LEARN MORE

Outsourcing staff are considered essential workers, and thus have exemptions from the lockdown and curfews, while at the same time, public transport remains active – so we are hoping for minimal disruption to the industry.

For vaccine supply updates, the national government, the private sector, and Moderna, Inc. inked the country’s largest vaccine supply deal to date. The government procured 13 million doses, while the private sector will obtain seven million doses for their employees. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque also cited key amendments to the COVID-19 vaccination law. Roque stated that all private companies are now allowed to procure the COVID-19 vaccines through a tripartite deal with the national government. One example of a private company that will shoulder the inoculation expenses of its employees is Accenture Philippines. Accenture country manager Lito Tayag said that they’re providing a free COVID-19 vaccination program for its Philippine employees “who are eligible and choose to receive it.”

If the government ramps up its vaccination efforts “without rest for three months,” then the country can reduce the surge of infected cases, according to former COVID-19 task force adviser Tony Leachon. In addition, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) suggests that the Philippines can still achieve its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 6.5 to 7.5% this year if the government ramps up its vaccination drive by the second half of 2021.

The Board of Investments (BOI) announced that they have approved P137 billion worth of investments in the first quarter of 2021, a 65 per cent increase from last year’s approved investments. BOI chairman and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said these investments are set to create 12,013 jobs. Further, Lopez has urged Singaporean investors to explore the country’s five priority sectors: manufacturing, start-up and innovation, services, research and development and infrastructure and public-private partnership.

Microsoft Philippines expressed interest in helping the local Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector. COO Abid Zaidi said he wants the industry to embrace technology faster to keep up with its rival countries. In line with this, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is aiming to position the Philippines as an “artificial intelligence (AI) powerhouse.” DTI Undersecretary Rafaelita Aldaba said they plan to build a national data center and a national center for AI research.

Overseas, Canadian BPO firm Bill Gosling is set to launch its second delivery center in Costa Rica this May, which will be the firm’s 10th delivery center across the world. Bill Gosling has delivery centers in the US, UK, and the Philippines. The new Costa Rican branch will provide around 200 job opportunities – another proof that outsourcing can still thrive in the middle of an economic downturn.

In other BPO news, more and more firms are realizing the value of content marketing. For instance, leading outsourcing provider OfficePartners360 has now added an educational section on its newly revamped website – “covering all things outsourcing”. Chief Administrative Officer David Highbloom said that since the website’s launch, their articles have “enabled the company to connect with a new audience and reinvigorate its existing global workforce.”

GET THE COMPLETE TOOLKIT - FREE
LEARN MORE

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

 

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

NEWS THIS WEEK

 

30 March 2021

29 March 2021

  • Biz groups want gov’t to take urgent action in vaccination efforts, CREATE bill approval – read article…
  • Singaporean investors urged to explore five PH priority sectors – read article…
  • BOI approves P137bn worth of investments in Q1 – read article…
  • Greater Manila area under ECQ until April 4 – read article…

26 March 2021

  • Number of foreign workers in PH drops for the first time since 2009 – read article…
  • BSP remains flexible to lure Islamic banks – read article…
  • PH can reduce COVID-19 cases if vaccinations speed up “without rest” – read article…
  • OP360 website’s new blog section to provide greater value to audience – read article…

25 March 2021

  • Bill Gosling to launch second delivery center in Costa Rica – read article…
  • PH facing the “second wave” of COVID-19 pandemic – expert – read article…
  • PH will achieve GDP targets if vaccination programs ramp up – NEDA – read article…

24 March 2021

  • Accenture Philippines to vaccinate all employees for free – read article…
  • ADB suggests employee reskilling, upskilling and development – read article…
  • Gov’t, private sector sign deal for 20 million Moderna vaccine doses – read article…
  • All PH private firms now allowed to procure COVID-19 vaccines – read article…

Read more Inside Outsourcing Newsletters here:

  1. The Outsourcing Week in Review: March 24, 2021
  2. The Outsourcing Week in Review: April 14, 2021

Related outsourcing resources

    Transform your business
    Icon
    CONSULT
    Icon
    3 QUOTES
    Icon
    START
    Icon
    FAST-TRACK
    Icon
    TOOLKIT
    X