This week's news updates bring hope amidst the turmoil in Marawi and other sociopolitical issues. The business process outsourcing industry in the Philippines continues to thrive despite the challenges it's facing.
BPOs drive May hiring growth to double digits (June 30, 2017)
The Monster Employment Index (MEI) showed a 12% year-on-year rise in online hiring last month, hitting 106 index points in May.
This is also higher than the 7% recorded in April or 101 points. May represents the highest reading since November 2014, when the MEI was at 113.
The surge in online job postings may have been driven by robust economic growth which put the country on the radar of possible investors.
The top growing industries in online employment in May are led by the business process outsourcing (BPO)/information technology enabled services (ITES), logistics, courier/freight/transportation, import/export, and the retail sector.
"The BPO/ITES sector recorded the steepest growth in online hiring activity, while the engineering, construction and real estate sector recorded the sharpest fall," the online hiring site said.
The BPO/ITES sector booked growth of 30%, logistics, courier/freight/ transportation, import/export, and shipping industry expanded 17%, retail saw a 16% increase, banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) at 12% and the advertising, market research, public relations, media and entertainment at 8%.
It added that customer service talent was the most in demand with 40% growth, followed by software, hardware telecom 10%, hirees with purchasing/logistics/supply chain backgrounds at 8%, and finance/accounts and marketing/communications, which both grew 5% year on year.
Swedish firms keen on trading with PHL (July 2, 2017)
"Sweden is quite advanced when it comes to running hospitals, for instance, and also [has] advanced technology on different kinds of treatment, which could be useful here. But [we will be] also recruiting qualified nurses. There is a shortage in Sweden of qualified nurses," he said.
Furthermore, the ambassador cited successful Swedish BPO company Transcom has employed more than 10,000 in the Philippines.
"[And] there are small companies coming in here hoping to expand," he added. Fries said he has been urging Swedish businessmen to also pour in their investments outside Metro Manila amid the Marawi City clashes.
"I think businessmen are always attaching importance to rule of law, good judicial system, not having corruption and red tape... and things like that. They look at [those things] when they establish market," he said.
"[There] should be more balanced growth in this country so the different regions have better opportunities to develop socially and economically. If you look at Cebu, Iloilo and Davao, these are growth centers," the envoy observed.
Israel eyes tie-ups with PH, Cebu businesses (July 2, 2017)
Dr. Effie Ben Matityau, ambassador of Israel to the Philippines, said he sees great potential for partnerships in the aspects of water management, education, and information and communication technology (ICT).
"(One of the) things that Israel does well is to innovate the economy, coming up with cutting edge innovations," he said during a press conference in Cebu City last Friday, following the Colors of Israel Forum held at Marco Polo Plaza.
Matityau said Cebu, like other major regional capitals in the Philippines, is also moving into the "new economy," described as the result of the transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy.
"We have the traditional and the new. Agriculture, which is traditional, for example, has to go into the new era to improve food supply and food production," he said, adding that food security as well as water management can be areas of partnership between Israel and Cebu.
The diplomat said Israel also has technology and management ideas which they can share to Cebu, particularly in cyber security, which is a hot topic of discussion among businesses today.
He also said that they are also looking at investing in start-ups and Israeli companies, who are interested to venture into businesses with local partners.
Philippines a net gainer from peso depreciation (July 3, 2017)
According to a sensitivity analysis prepared by DOF chief economist Gil Beltran for 2018, the government could earn P9.5 billion for every P1 depreciation in foreign exchange. This is higher than the P2.1 billion increase in costs a P1 depreciation could cause the government.
This means the government generates a surplus of P7.4 billion for every peso depreciation against the dollar.
According to Dominguez and Beltran, revenue streams that benefit from a weakening peso includes import taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs, remittances from overseas Filipino workers and the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
"For the economy, is it really bad to have a currency that is slightly undervalued? Just think how much more pesos are coming from both BPO and the OFWs. That is more than $50 billion a year from both of them."