Beyond Metro: Clark, Iloilo, and Cebu as top locations for BPO

BPO, Business Processes Outsourcing, Office Space, Office Locations, Cebu, Iloilo, Clark

As the Business Processing Outsourcing industry continues to hold a steady stance as one of the country's top economic drivers, BPO companies have started locating and operationalizing outside Metro Manila. While many of the country's BPO companies have chosen the Philippine capital region as the location of their main offices, some have started exploring provincial areas that have the potential of being BPO hub spots and in turn, make them excellent locations for real estate investment due to the lower entry point and potentially higher opportunity for value appreciation.

Pegged to continuously grow bigger over the next few years, many have expanded operations and located satellite offices in other key cities in the Philippines, particularly inClark, Iloilo, and Cebu. BPO companies are currently occupying a huge portion of the office stock in these locations, taking advantage ofthe lower land development cost, lower lease rates, and less competition for the talent pool.

With the continuous increase of salaries and office rental rates, Clark is touting to be the next emerging BPO hub in Luzon. With its rapid urbanization and a strong market capturing the labor pool of Central Luzon, many multinational and local companies such as Global Gateway Development Corporation (GGDC) and Berthaphil Inc., see this key city as an optimal location for a base in the north of Metro Manila.

Central Luzon ranked as the third biggest contributor to the country's GDP in 2018 with a share of 9.8 percent. An ideal location equipped with the proper infrastructure and strong demographic profile, Clark is set as the next economic center, especially for the BPO industry.

In the Visayan region, two cities are included in the Philippine Economic Zone Authority's (PEZA) list of "Centers of Excellence", namely Cebu and Iloilo.

Metro Cebu has already a strong foothold on the BPO industry . As of 4Q of 2018, at least 329 IT-BPO firms are operating within the city's jurisdiction, employing a total of 130,260 people and occupying a total of 58,000 square meters in office transactions. It also ranked at the 11th place in Tholons' 2018 Services Globalization index, which ranks the top 100 'Super Cities' in the outsourcing industry.

Cebu City has an established  IT-BPO presence accounting for twenty-four PEZA-accredited IT Centers and four IT Parks.

The BPO industry in Iloilo, on the other hand, is one of the biggest economic drivers for the city and the whole province, urging the local government to promote it as a major investment hub in the south of Luzon. Being a premier SMART (Service, Manufacturing, Agri-business, Arts and culture, Research and technology and Tourism) city, many BPO companies are looking to invest in Iloilo and house operations in the area.