NCR Remains BPO Preferred Location
Rappler by Mick Basa, 11-27-2014
MANILA, Philippines - Drumbeating "next wave
cities" in the Philippines to foreign locators remains a tough
marketing act, as majority of foreign investors still prefer
central business districts (CBDs) in Metro Manila.
While some business process outsourcing (BPO) firms have
expanded in outlying cities, many still opt to set up in the
National Capital Region, citing well-planned development, said Jose
Mari Mercado, president and CEO of the IT and Business Process
Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).
"If given a choice, I'd like to go to Metro Manila. That's the
normal reaction of businessmen from North America," Mercado
Real estate experts cited Taguig's Bonifacio Global City (BGC)
as a preferred location, a growing supply of office space, along
with well-developed infrastructure.
Apart from BGC, Mercado said another CBD is being eyed as
theemerging BPO hub: the Vertis North behind Ayala's TriNoma mall
in Quezon City. The project is one of the 6 growth centers unveiled
by the Ayala group this month.
Every year, IBPAP conducts a study of "next wave cities" which
provides information on cities outside Metro Manila, covering
population; educational infrastructure; telecommunications
infrastructure; local Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)
zones; and other data of interest to them.
But KMC MAG Group's head of investments Jose Carmelo Porciuncula
said: "It's not an easy sell. We are trying to figure out how to
bring more investments toward other alternative locations."
"They're trying to defend in front of their investment board
where Iloilo is, where Sta Rosa is," Porciuncula added.
'Next wave cities'
BPO expansions are deemed important investments for other cities
outside the capital due to employment opportunities.
Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Metro Cebu, and Sta Rosa, Laguna, have
been identified as "next wave cities" due to an increase in its
business continuity, cost competitiveness, infrastructure, and
For instance, Cebu is home to more than 20 BPO companies,
employing about 200,000 workers, Mercado said.
There are 20,000 employees engaged in the BPO sector in Bacolod;
20,000 in Davao; and 2,000 in Iloilo.
The Philippines remains a strategic location for BPO companies,
due to its time zone, English language proficiency, and culture,
said Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President
"To ignore those would be just hiding your huge potential for
growth," Payne said.