The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), on Monday said new contact centers starting next year will not be located in the highly-congested Metro Manila anymore.
Some 500,000 outsourcing jobs will soon be available as companies expand in Bacolod City and Clark Freeport, a former US airbase that the government is promoting as an alternative to the overcrowded capital, industry players said.
The expansion is pushing through despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s shift away from the US, the Philippine’s biggest outsourcing client, and the victory of US president-elect Donald Trump, who has promised to bring jobs back to America.
The business process outsourcing industry is targeting up to 1.8 million jobs by the end of Duterte’s term in 2022, 1.5 million of which will be located outside Metro Manila, according to the IBPAP.
“We’d like to expand that even further, of course with telecommunication, infrastructure being in place with this government pushing that part, even the rural areas, there’s now rural BPO…We’re excited about that,” IBPAP chairman Danilo Sebastian Reyes said.
Congestion in the capital prompted companies like Global Gateway Development Corporation to bring operations to other urban centers, said its president, Michael Sullivan.
The company is building a $5-billion 177-hectare facility in Clark that will rival call center hubs in the Bonifacio Global City.
“It was important for us coming to the Philippines to strategically identify a parcel next to the international gateways of the Philippines, and to accelerate the growth in the region,” Sullivan said.
The first phase of the project is expected to be finished by May 2017
Sullivan also added that another $3.5-billion 150-hectare business center north of Bacolod City will be started on the second quarter of 2017.
“Bacolod is the best choice among Visayan cities like Cebu and Iloilo because of its highly-educated graduates and peaceful and conducive environment”, Sullivan said.
Bacolod ranked consistently in the top 5 of the “Best Places to Live in the Philippines”, has also been declared by the Department of Science and Technology as a “center of excellence” for information technology and business process management operations.