Cebu among top outsourcing sites

A LEADING US-based services globalization and investment advisory firm, Tholons Inc., has rated Cebu among the world’s top outsourcing destinations, beating other high-profile locations in Europe, an official said Sunday.

House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said the 2014 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations ranked Cebu as the world’s eighth-best after Bangalore, Metro Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.

“Cebu’s reputation as a prime world-class outsourcing hub will get an even bigger boost once the Mactan Newtown is fully developed,” Gullas said.

He was referring to the 28.8-hectare special information-technology park and economic zone being built by publicly listed Megaworld Corp. as a “live-work-play” community in Cebu’s Lapu-Lapu City.

“Cebu has all the building blocks needed to rapidly grow as an outsourcing hub. Besides the policy environment and fiscal incentives, we have the required college-educated human resources and infrastructure, including advanced connectivity,” Gullas said.

“It is also easier to live, work and play in Cebu, where there is less congestion and stress. The costs of living and doing business in Cebu are likewise lower compared to Metro Manila and other global outsourcing sites.”

Gullas said Cebu and Metro Manila were the only Philippine spots in the top 10 of the 2014 Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations, where the national capital region ranked No. 2

The top 10 was dominated by six metropolitan districts in India. Poland’s Krakow ranked No. 9, while Ireland’s Dublin was No. 10.

The Tholons rankings are based on a rigorous location screening framework and regarded by industry stakeholders as the best grading of global outsourcing hubs.

Once fully developed, business process outsourcing firms based at the P20-billion Mactan Newtown are expected to directly engage some 45,000 knowledge workers.

Mactan Newtown’s first office tower has already been fully leased by Diamond Bar, California-based Enfrasoft Inc. and Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based The Results Companies.

Without counting Mactan Newtown, Cebu now has 25 fully functional IT parks plus 12 more being developed, providing plenty of high-tech office spaces to BPO firms, Gullas said.

Accenture Inc., Convergys Philippines Services Corp., TeleTech Customer Care Management Philippines Inc., JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A.-Philippine Global Service Center, Stream International Global Services Philippines Inc., IBM Corp., Sykes Asia Inc., Aegis People Support Inc., NCR Cebu Development Center Inc., and Wipro BPO Philippines Ltd. Inc. are among the multinational firms with extensive BPO activities in Cebu.

The BPO firms in Central Visayas—mostly in Cebu and partly in Negros Oriental—already employ over 100,000 full-time workers and yield more than $500 million in annual revenue.

The country’s BPO and IT-enabled services industry encompasses contact center services, back offices, medical, legal and other data transcription, animation, software development, engineering design and digital content.

According to the IT and Business Processing Association of the Philippines, the industry is expected to add some 372,000 new jobs from 2014 to 2016.

A large supply of college-educated, fluent English-speaking professionals has been a key growth driver of the BPO sector, which is projected to fully employ some 1.3 million Filipinos and generate up to $27 billion in annual revenues by 2016.

Gullas is the author of a bill seeking to reinforce the use of English in all school levels in a bid to make the nation’s future human resources highly competitive in the global labor markets.

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