By: Tara Yap
THE business process outsourcing (BPO) industry has spurred employment in Iloilo City for almost half a decade.
According to Joeven Tansi, deputy executive director of Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT), the BPO industry in Iloilo City has generated employment for almost 4,000 Ilonggos in 12 different outsourcing companies.
Tansi said the figure is only in Iloilo City alone and does not include home-based Ilonggo workers, which are growing in number.
Tansi noted that while agriculture remains to be the top industry in Iloilo, BPO has pushed the economic growth of the city in an unprecedented manner and opened its doors to more international investors.
Tansi said Iloilo has been one of the forerunners as a BPO destination in the national and international levels.
Last year, international advisory investment research firm Tholons ranked Iloilo City 98th in the Top 100 Outsourcing Cities 2010.
Tansi explained that BPO locators are highly attracted to Iloilo City because of the pool of rich human resource.
“We have a high literacy rate at 92.8% and an average of 39,000 graduates per year,” Tansi said.
Tansi also cited strong telecommunication system, infrastructure development and the business-friendly approach of the local government that are attracting BPO companies.
Today, the Iloilo City Trade and Investment Promotions Board will host the 1st Iloilo City Business Summit.
The whole-day business summit aims to attract investors, particularly in the growing BPO industry that will further spur the economic growth of the city.
Last May, Megaworld Corp. broke ground for its P25-billion business park in the old Iloilo Airport in Mandurriao district. The 54-hectare old airport will be turned into an IT park catering to BPO companies and a shopping and dining strip.
Last year, the P1-billion Iloilo-Ayala Land Techno Hub was built and it now houses an Indian outsourcing company.
Iloilo was also previously named as one of the Top 10 BPO hubs in Asia-Pacific by global network firm KPGM and was also cited by the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) as one of the Top Ten Next Wave Cities for the outsourcing industry.