Most business process outsourcing (BPO) companies continue to choose Metro Manila over other Philippine outsourcing locations to establish operations, according to IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president Jose Mari Mercado.
Despite the "next wave cities" program geared to expand outsourcing beyond the capital, only a few pioneer BPO firms have established centers in locations outside Metro Manila. Mercado cites well-planned development in the central business districts (CBDs) as the major draw for foreign investors. He added that the "normal reaction" of North American businesses is to choose Manila.
IBPAP recently identified Bacolod, Davao, Iloilo, Cebu City, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna as "next wave cities" because of the talent pool, infrastructure, business continuity, and cost competitiveness in these areas. BPO expansions in these cities are expected to create job opportunities for the locals. There are about 20 BPO firms in Cebu that employs 200,000 people, and Bacolod's BPO sector employs about 20,000 workers.
Manila is ranked number 2 in the latest Tholons' Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations, with six other Philippine cities included in the outsourcing locations list.