According to data released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), an excess of Five Trillion Pesos, or approximately 103 Billion US Dollars, has been approved by Philippine Agencies between 2016 and 2021.
These investment contracts have been approved by the Board of Investments (BOI), to the value of 86 Billion US Dollars and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), with an approximate 16 Billion US Dollars approved over the past 5 years.
This new data has revealed some interesting trends. The United Kingdom has become the largest approved foreign investment source to the BOI and PEZA, with Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United States closely following; these significantly improved investments fall in line with the DTI’s promise to make the Philippines more attractive to foreign investors.
Ramon Lopez, who is currently the Secretary of DTI, has said, “the government is pushing for legislative reforms that are set to attract more foreign investments, including amendments to the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalisation Act, and the Foreign Investments Act”.
To support this statement, President Duterte recently stated that the Philippine Government was, “committed to assist the private sector to regain the commercial vibrance of the country prior to the pandemic”, when he made the recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday 26th July 2021.
As President Duterte enters what will likely be his final year in office, there is much hope that the private sector will benefit from these commitments over the next 12 months.
Becoming an Economic Powerhouse in South East Asia (SEA)
according to both the Philippine Government and leading Private Sector CEO’s, it is perfectly viable that the Philippines will become an eCommerce leader across SEA, with many predicting the economy will recover by 2024.
In a recent event, DTI Secretary Lopez stated, “The Philippines is built for commerce, and that its e-commerce industry has been growing significantly over the last few years with the DTI projecting that the number of e-commerce enterprises will grow from 500,000 in 2020 to 1 million by 2022”.
The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and PwC Philippines recently released a survey which confirmed that 70% of private sector CEO’s firmly believed that the Philippine Economy would recover from the effects of Covid19 by 2024, with many CEO’s predicting optimistic revenue growth much sooner. 85% of CEO’s interviewed expected to see significant revenue growth within the next 3 years, whilst 63% of CEO’s expected to see that revenue growth within 12 months.
Infrastructure improvements across the Philippines are already being implemented such as the country’s fixed broadband internet speeds which have increased as much as 741% in certain regions. According to Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index for June 2021, mobile speeds had improved by 341% between 2016 and 2021, an improvement which has been well received especially as many workforces are continuing to work from home through Covid19 restrictions.
The Future of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
According to Pert Cabataña, President of Cebu Based CIB.O, it is likely that the work from home arrangement for BPO work forces will remain in place for another 2-5 years. Mr Cabataña has also stated that there is much need for an accelerated roll out of telecommunications rollouts to remote communities, and that there was an urgent need to digitalize its process to ensure these remote communities had access to the best internet speeds, which is of particular importance whilst so many people are being forced to work from home.
Mr Cabataña is an advocate of provincial innovation progress and has outlined the national AI roadmap as an important part of that progression. The Governmental Department for the development of a satellite research branch for artificial intelligence (AI) is already engaged in the delivery of these improvements and national rollouts.
Cabataña added, “CIB.O will endeavour to participate in top efforts by negotiating for a branch research center to be located at the Cebu I.T. Park.”
The BPO industry in the Philippines continues to show progression. Many BPO companies are rapidly seeing their workforces become vaccinated against Covid19, such global outsourcing firm OP360 who have announced their first major inoculation rollout for their staff.
David Highbloom, Chief Administrative Officer [CAO) of OP360 released a statement that 42 employees received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC). OP360 is one of the first BPO’s to rollout vaccinations directly for its workforce.
Logix BPO has recently started the implementation process of V.I.E.W. (Visual Identification of Employee Workspace), an AI-powered virtual monitoring solution that ensures a third layer of security by acting as a constant digital supervisor.
Anthony Godley, CEO of Logix BPO stated, “We are constantly looking at technology that improves customer experience. View is revolutionary for the BPO industry”.
Anthony also stated that Logix BPO had experienced a very positive Q2 for 2021, that has seen multiple new global client acquisitions and their workforce in Cebu increase significantly.