The inclusion of workers in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in the government’s A4 Covid vaccination priority list will further spur economic recovery, the country’s trade chief said.
In a statement, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that the BPO sector is one of the economic activities that support the economy as its operations remain open despite quarantine lockdowns.
“This is helping the economy in its recovery efforts, in saving jobs, and contribution to dollar revenue generation. That, in turn, is helping solidify further the economic fundamentals of the country and stable credit rating for the country,” Lopez said.
The DTI has endorsed the inclusion of BPO workers in the A4 priority group.
“The IATF supported the move following the justifications that the DTI presented on the importance of BPO in the economy, citing huge contribution in export revenues, reaching close to USD30 billion a year, bigger than remittances from overseas Filipino workers,” he said.
A DTI attached agency, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, has also requested the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to include the sector in the next group to be prioritized for Covid-19 vaccines.
Lopez said the BPO sector “didn’t lay off workers and even continued to hire during this pandemic.”
The country is one of the biggest BPO players globally, directly employing 1.32 million people and creating four million indirect jobs.
“We cannot afford to disrupt its very good momentum, especially in this time of the pandemic,” he added.
LPG DEALERS, RETAILERS IN A4.2
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said liquefied petroleum gas dealers, retailers and attendants are now part of the “A4.2” vaccination group.
They will be listed under the “retail trade operators and front-liners,” Roque said.
The Philippines aims to inoculate up to 70 million by year-end to achieve herd immunity.
SCALE UP CONTACT TRACING APP
The IATF-EID has also approved the recommendation of the National Economic and Development Authority to scale up the contact tracing applications of various local government units.
Roque said the Department of Information and Communication Technology and the Department of the Interior and Local Government have been directed to issue a policy “to ensure that all contact tracing applications are interoperable.”*PNA