MANILA - The Philippines has identified another 40 locations that can support the growth momentum of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
This is on top of the 10 so-called "next-wave cities" (NWC) that the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) identified earlier.
Gillian Virata, BPAP senior executive director, said IT-BPO companies can also explore other potential locations such as Iligan, Zamboanga, General Santos, Leyte, Laoag, Bohol, Legazpi City, and other provinces in Central and Southern Luzon.
“There is so much more untapped potential in areas outside Metro Manila. The Next Wave Cities are part of the solution in terms of providing talent. They are central to expanding economic growth beyond Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Clark. IT-BPO can make a difference in the lives of the people and these opportunities just need to be made known and available to them,” Virata said.
The 10 next-wave cities are Davao, Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Bacolod, Iloilo, Metro Cavite (Bacoor, Imus, and Dasmariñas), Lipa in Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos in Bulacan, Baguio, and Dumaguete.
The BPAP and Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) identified the next wave cities using a scorecard, the data of which is updated every year.
The NWC Scorecard is a tool to measure the suitability of a location to host IT-BPO operations. Locations are assessed on the basis of availability of talent and relevant infrastructure, connectivity through fiber-optic or other telecommunications networks, accessibility, cost of related factor inputs, and the business environment, including vulnerability to natural disturbances and issues related to security and safety.
Included in the NWC Scorecard are 34 cities and municipalities assessed to be collective “metro” areas.
“The aim of the NWC program is to help ease the inflationary pressures brought about by concentration of recruitment and office space for IT-BPOs within Metro Manila,” Virata said.
He said talent is a key indicator for a location’s potential to become a credible IT-BPO hub. While Metro Manila produces the greatest number of university graduates, 75 percent or over 350,000 annual graduates come from schools outside Metro Manila. These numbers prompted industry stakeholders to take a second look at potential locations outside of Metro Manila and enhance their potential in attracting global clients and foreign investment.
“The IT-BPO industry is aware that the next wave of growth must involve alternative locations,” Virata said.
In 2011, the Philippines’ IT-BPO industry generated more than $11 billion in revenue and employed almost 640,000. Under its roadmap, BPAP projects the industry to grow to $25 billion and employ 1.3 million by 2016.