The growth of BPO industry has pushed physical boundaries. Business centers used to be concentrated in Manila.
Today the landscape is literally changing.
The government, capitalizing on the immense economic benefits of the BPO industry and talent ubiquity in the country, created programs, like Rural Impact Sourcing Programme by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), to support expansion of BPO centers to the provinces.
Mega business hubs that could rival that of BGC, Makati, and Ortigas are being built all over the country. Today, 3 provinces are standing out. Cebu, Iloilo, and Clark Zone in Pampanga are all slated to become a sustainable hub for BPO for the years to come
The Visayan province has the largest share of the BPO industry outside Metro Manila.
The Cebu BPO industry employs more than 100,000 workers, which in turn affects other jobs like taxi drivers, store clerks, spa workers and food attendants that serve restaurants BPO workers visit.
The academe in Cebu is in full support of the BPO industry as well. However, there are still skill shortages in the KPO (knowledge process outsourcing). These jobs require higher level of training which is why certain groups like CEDFIT has partnered with international organizations such as EMC Academic Alliance Program to offer free training to university teachers on subjects like cloud infrastructure services, big data analytics and information storage and management. Combined with the Cebuano youth’s talents, the Cebu BPO industry will only continue getting bigger and better.
Iloilo city mayor Jed Mabilog reported that the local BPO industry has provided Ilonggos more than 21,000 jobs. The mayor gives credit to the abundant number of skilled workers as a top factor for attracting BPO companies.
Iloilo will soon boast a premier business center. The area, named Iloilo Business Park, already sold 80% of its commercial lots according to vice president for sales and marketing of the Iloilo Business Park, Jennifer Palmares-Fong. The area, which just started selling in 2014, will feature 14 towers, 4 of which are already constructed. The prospects it attracts are varied too. Banks, hotels, and restaurants are among the interested investors of Iloilo Business Park.
The future of the Iloilo BPO industry seems secure as well. Mayor Mabilog was recently in China to promote the viability of BPO business in the province. He considers his trip successful, as 30 prospective investors from Hong Kong are expected to survey the area.
With its unusual mix of accessibility, foreign-friendly vibe, and picturesque beaches leave no doubt on why it is such an attractive investment. Currently, there are 62,000 full-time BPO employees in Clark, with about 300,000 square meters of office space available.
Clark is in a very strategic location. Future business centers will be easily accessible through various expressways and has its own airport.
A Freeport zone, Clark enjoys similar benefits given to PEZA locations, and since Clark is part of the Pampanga province, the lease price tag is also lower compared to its Metro Manila counterparts.
The BPO industry in Clark main attraction is its “young, intelligent, and multilingual” labor pool. About 60,000 graduates from Central Luzon are expected to be part of the workforce in the next 2 years.
Property developers continue to improve the infrastructure in Clark. If this trend continues, we can soon expect Clark to be in the mix of the most progressive locations in the country.