For decades, the Philippines and Australia have had one of the most historical and close-knitted foreign relations. Both countries have a long history of bilateral cooperation, encompassing development, sustainability, trade, economic investment, defense, etc.

But the relationship between these countries does not end with the government. The Philippines is home to many IT outsourcing companies to Australia – ranging from big companies like Telstra, Vodafone, or Optus to medium-scaled companies like Canva.

However, the recent succession of new leaders in both countries was a hot subject for many business and tech companies. Many are worried about how the government will address the country’s current economic status. In addition, they want to know their plans to improve their infrastructure, technology capability, and most importantly, the investors, mainly IT outsourcing companies.

Let’s find out in this article!

Who is the newly elected prime minister of Australia?

Anthony Norman Albanese MP is Australia’s 31st Prime Minister and government leader. 23 May 2022. He is a well-known politician and an advocate for human rights, climate change, labor, economy, and democracy.

PM Albanese has well-established and extensive experience in various Australian sectors, including Infrastructure, Transportation, Environment, and Climate Change. Anthony Albanese was elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1998 and has served as a minister since 2013.

As a member of the parliament, he also manages regional development focusing on jobs, business opportunities, and services in regional Australia.

He has been instrumental in the development of significant projects such as WestConnex (NSW), Sydney Metro (NSW), Brisbane’s Cross River Rail Project (QLD), and Perth’s METRONET Project (WA).

Who is the newly elected president of the Philippines?

Ferdinand Marcos Jr., commonly referred to as Bongbong Marcos, is the current president-elect of the Philippines and would be the 17th leader of the country on his incoming incumbent on 30 June 2022.

The start of his political career can be dated back to 1980 when he was elected as the Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte. He got a congressional seat in the same province in 1991, where he authored 43 bills passed into law as a congressman.  Marcos has also served as a senator of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016.

As a lawyer and politician, Marcos has been campaigning to improve the country’s economy through unified leadership, helping the country recover from the pandemic.

How can PM Albanese leadership affect the Outsourcing industry in Australia?

The New Prime Minister Albanese voiced a strong opinion against outsourcing Australia. He called for an end to contracting out “essential public services” and creating more Australia Publish Service jobs in regional areas.[1]

He stated at a meeting of Labor MPs last March 2022, “The contracting out of essential public services is not in the national interest and must stop.” He explained that doing will help the country steer its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic. These notions, however, are exclusively pointed out in the core public service jobs that are important in nation-building and recovery, such as veterinary, medicine, farming, etc.

PM Albanese Plans for the Tech Industry 

On the other hand, when it comes to information technology, Prime Minister Albanese showed tremendous support in improving the said sector. As the leader of Federal Labor of Australia, he has revealed intentions to boost the country’s technology sector. In March 2022, the Federal Labor has adopted the Technology Council of Australia’s target of snowballing the number of Australians employed in tech-related jobs by 340,000 to 1.2 million by the end of the decade.

In his campaign, former Labor Leader Albanese mentioned that he plans to work with the tech sector. He said that he intends to strengthen the existing technology companies by creating an environment that can foster tech startups, growing the number of tech jobs in the country. [2]

Similarly, he stated that he would hold an employment summit to get unions and employers to raise wages [3] and ensure that wage theft would be criminalized. [4]

However, this statement has faced criticism from Australia’s tech leaders. AU’s tech sector has given grievances towards the said plan. They want to discuss during the summit the idea’s possible repercussions: sky-high wages and the worsening of the shortage of skilled workers. It is said that this could be hard for the viability of the gig economy.

Still, while this news could be dreadful to Australian companies, it could be a brilliant opportunity for offshore outsourcing companies worldwide.

How can Bongbong Marcos Jr’s Presidency Affect Outsourcing Industry in the Philippines?

The incoming administration of president-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has faced multiple controversies and criticism from Filipinos due to the toppled reasons such as unaddressed issues in taxes, family history, and alleged lack of blueprint or plan for the Philippines. [5]

Likewise, multiple big companies have complained about his leadership, worried that the BPO industry could be in shambles during his presidency. However, it looks like the incoming administration has some plans that could potentially favor the IT-BPO industry in the country.

Back in 2016, during his candidacy for vice-president, President Marcos Jr. pushed for Magna Carta for Call Center Workers in the country. The said Magna Carta would enable BPO workers to organise and join labor unions. Similarly, it could permit them to champion their causes such as bargaining units, complete protection of labor, and equal employment rights. [6] The Magna Carta would also impose regular risk assessments to check on their work’s effect on the wellness of their employees.

This notion could dissuade investors from picking the country for their IT outsourcing. Still, the administration has mentioned various plans that may invite more investors and tech stockholders to the country.  

Moreover, during his campaign, Incoming President Marcos has highlighted his plans to improve the country’s digital infrastructure. He stated, “We need to pursue the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program initiated by President Duterte. And let’s expand it. We’ll include the digital infrastructure, our internet, to speed up and expand so that it can be much cheaper.”

More than that, he is looking into lowering the high-cost electricity in the country and pledging to make it affordable to Filipinos. Marcos Jr. is also looking into improving the country’s current education system through his Vice President, Sarah Duterte.[7]

These aforementioned plans could potentially invite more investors to the IT Outsourcing Industry.

Will the succession of new state leaders affect the Outsourcing deals between Australia and the Philippines?

While a smooth succession of leadership is crucial to the development and stability of a country, it could also potentially harden the foreign economic policy of a government like the situation in the Philippines or Australia.

The Philippines is one of the largest English-speaking countries globally. It has over 100 million people and a very high literacy rate. Likewise, it also has a low corporate tax rate of only 30%, making it more attractive to foreign companies. It makes the Philippines an ideal location to outsource several positions for many countries.

But with the new government’s proclamation, investors’ business decisions differ. [8] Usually, lousy governance with rigged rules scares away investors. And in the case of President-elect Marcos Jr., he is yet to prove their worth to these investors. However, there is yet a sign of optimism in the foreseeable future. [9]

And when it comes to the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and Australia, officials are yet to meet and discuss their plans. The two countries have been allies for over a century. Moreover, the Philippines has been one of Australia’s most important trading partners in Southeast Asia.

The relationship between the two countries has been fruitful, but it is not without its challenges. We hope that these two countries will continue to build a long-lasting and strong relationship, particularly in economics and trade.

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References

[1] Rollins, A. (2020, May 11). Anthony Albanese calls on the government to “end the outsourcing” in the public service. The Canberra Times. https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6752372/end-the-outsourcing-labor-leaders-public-service-call/

[2] Roberts, P. (2022, March 23). Albanese pledges Labor focus on tech industry jobs. Australian Manufacturing Forum. https://www.aumanufacturing.com.au/albanese-pledges-labor-focus-on-tech-industry-jobs

[3] Smith, P. (2022, May 23). Tech sector wants jobs plan and bigger seat at Albo’s table. Australian Financial Review. https://www.afr.com/technology/tech-sector-wants-jobs-plan-and-bigger-seat-at-albo-s-table-20220520-p5an45

[4] Karp, P. (2022, May 24). Eight priorities for Anthony Albanese’s new Labor government. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/may/23/eight-priorities-anthony-albanese-new-labor-government-australia-federal-election-2022?utm_term=Autofeed&CMP=soc_568&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter.

[5] Camus, M. R. (2022, May 12). J.P. Morgan drops PH to bottom of Asean investment preference list on May 9 polls. INQUIRER.Net. https://business.inquirer.net/347572/j-p-morgan-drops-ph-to-bottom-of-asean-investment-preference-list-after-may-9-polls

[6] Press Release – Bongbong Marcos pushes for Magna Carta for Call Center Workers. (2021). Senate of the Philippines Website. https://legacy.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2016/0427_marcos2.asp.

[7] Promchertchoo, P. (2022, May 12). Bongbong Marcos reveals plans for Philippines after landslide election win. CNA. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/bongbong-marcos-plans-philippines-election-win-2678521

[8] N. (2021, November 2). Why are investments low and how can the country increase investments to generate jobs and recover from the pandemic? BusinessWorld Online. https://www.bworldonline.com/opinion/2021/11/01/407631/why-are-investments-low-and-how-can-the-country-increase-investments-to-generate-jobs-and-recover-from-the-pandemic/

[9] Beltran, M. (2022, May 19). Does Marcos Jr. Have an Economic Plan for the Philippines? The Diplomat. https://thediplomat.com/2022/05/does-marcos-jr-have-an-economic-plan-for-the-philippines/

Pamela Chelsea Ortiz - Content Creator

Pamela is a full-time content writer and a lifelong Philomath. Her previous experience as a research analyst made her passionate about traveling the world and understanding how it works. During her day off, you can often find her indoors, writing stories or oil painting.

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