For this week's news roundup, we're seeing a more positive outlook for the IT-BPO industry in the Philippines. A lot of that comes from the confidence of investors and established businesses in the country's continued growth.
BPO tax perks stay under proposed tax reform program (July 13, 2017)
It may be recalled that certain groups from the industry had earlier expressed concern that the removal of the VAT exemption would make the country a less attractive destination among global BPO firms.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara, chair of the Senate Way and Means Committee, allayed fears of the BPO after the DOF clarification.
"With the industry's incentives intact, we can continue to attract more BPO investments that would spur economic growth and job creation in the country," Angara said in a press statement.
Angara pointed out that BPO investments have been a big help in sustaining the country's economic growth for the past years.
"We value such contribution and the government has been very supportive of the industry by granting BPO firms various incentives," he added.
BPO firms to stay, says US envoy (July 13, 2017)
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim stressed that US IT-BPO companies in the Philippines continue to enjoy good business in the country.
This statement comes after worries that US outsourcing companies have deferred their investments here as they await clearer policies from US President Donald Trump.
"We (in the Philippines) have a very young population, smart, very competent, and very hardworking. There's also a very strong cultural affinity so I think BPO will continue to do very well," said Kim, who was in Cebu yesterday for the general membership meeting of American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines- Cebu Chapter held at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.
German IT-BPO firms keen on PHL investment (July 17, 2017)
Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said four German companies, three of which are existing players in the BPO industry expressed plans to expand in the Philippines.
Fresenius Medical Care's shared services center in Alabang will increase its seat count from 77 to 130 by 2020. In terms of its medical-care operations, it will grow its 25 clinics to 37 also in three years’ time.
Pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) will augment its worldwide service center network by building its third one in the Philippines to cater to the Asia-Pacific markets.
"BI has already been present in the Philippines for 50 years and is the third-largest multinational in the country. Currently, the company has two service locations located in Ingelheim [for the EU market] and Buenos Aires [South America Market]," Lopez said in a message to reporters. "The choice for Manila as the Asia-Pacific location was mainly because of the country's good university system and access to talented work force."
The company is slated to start operations in Manila this October. According to Lopez, BI will be hiring 200 employees to service Australia and New Zealand.
Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., already with IT-BPO operations here, is planning to expand operations in three to four years' time, Lopez said. He added Merck & Co. plans to increase its work force from the current 125 to 800 people by 2020.
The government official added that German auto firm BMW has tapped the Bosch Communications Center in the Philippines for inquiries from the Asean region.
ADB hikes '17,'18 growth forecasts for PH (July 21, 2017)
In its Asian Development Outlook Supplement report released yesterday, the ADB jacked up to 6.5 percent from 6.4 percent its Philippine GDP growth projection for 2017.
As such, the Manila-based multilateral lender's forecast for this year is now within the government's 6.5-7.5 percent target range.
The ADB's updated 2017 growth projection for the Philippines is higher than Vietnam's 6.5 percent, Indonesia's 5.1 percent, Malaysia's 4.7 percent, Thailand's 3.5 percent and Singapore's 2.4 percent.
It also raised to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent its Philippine growth forecast for 2018.