Legazpi advances to 10 next wave cities list

January 31, 2012 1:25 am 

By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 30 -– This city has advanced to the 10 next wave cities in the country’s Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry list of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP).

Considered by the BPAP as a feeder city for providing highly qualified manpower to other outsourcing centers across the country, Legazpi tied with Dagupan and Dumaguete Cities in the 10th place, a statement released here over the weekend by BPAP chief executive officer Oscar Sañez showed.

The city, the government’s regional center for Bicol also scored high in the cost of doing business and availability of needed physical information and technology (IT) infrastructures to support the outsourcing industry according to Sañez.

Its accessibility through land, air and sea transport from Manila, Cebu and other areas of the country added to having reliable telecommunications providers, like Smart Communications, Globe Philippines, Bayantel and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), that provide dependable internet and bandwidth connectivity are important factors that attracted BPO investors to locate in the city, he said.

With this, this city became the newest entrant to the class to join the top listed Davao City and other early entrants such as Bacolod, Baguio, Malolos, Iloilo, Cavite, Lipa and Cagayan de Oro.

Being a New Wave City, Sañez said, it provides a great avenue for local empowerment as it increases talent pool and stem salary and rental inflation. It also eases the pressures to raise salaries and rental rates in these major hubs, and spread the benefits of employment, higher incomes and increased business activity across the country.

The BPAP, he said, is seeing the Philippines to maintain its position as one of the world's top outsourcing destinations, generating an annual revenue of US$ 25 billion by 2015. "More companies are expected to sub-contract service to companies in the Philippines as a way to cut costs," he said.

BPAP said the Philippines was expected to maintain its market share of around 10 percent, despite emerging competitors like Vietnam and other countries in South America also joining the race for more clients. The country's BPO industry currently employs around 600,000 people.

City Mayor Geraldine Rosal welcome this development saying “our efforts to make Legazpi a leading investment hub is now paying off”.

She said the city currently has two IT park — the Embarcadero de Legazpi and the Legazpi Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Park that are both highly conducive place for outsourcing businesses. The two facilities offer about 8,000 call center seats that could provide jobs to some 24,000 agents in three-shift tour of duties.

Pioneering the business here is the Incubation Center of Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLTCFI) which is an extension of Embarcadero’s P1.8-billion IT Park, the very first IT ecozone in the Bicol region inaugurated in July 2009.

SLTCFI's 600 square meter facility seats around 200 employees forming as part of its IT projects. It also serves as the training center in developing a pool of qualified manpower for the industry and various BPO services for web development and design, online copywriting, Search Engine Optimization, Auto CADD with 2D and 3D animation, cataloging and legal transcription among others.

The BPAP recognition, Rosal said, inspired the city government to be more aggressive in promoting Legazpi as among the next wave city and “we are aiming to be among the three top cities in this field given the fact that one of the sectors that keep our competitiveness high is no doubt the outsourcing industry”.

“Our hospitality is known worldwide as one of a kind, even going overboard just to please others. Legazpeñas on the other hand have that special charm that by their mere voice could win clients without difficulties,” she said.

This city, being considered as Bicol’s center for higher education, produces every year over 4,000 college graduates that are highly competent. (PNA)

DCT/RMA/LQ/DOC/cbd

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