Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog recently presented a report by investment and research firm Tholons entitled 2012 Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. It showed that Iloilo moved up six spots, securing the 92th spot in Southeast Asia.
The Tholons list included other Philippine cities that retained their 2010 position: Manila (4), Cebu (9), and Davao (69). Santa Rosa, Laguna, on the other hand, climbed two spots to 86.
Other Southeast Asian locations that have improved ranks in the list are Singapore (35), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (28) and Penang, Malaysia (77). Meanwhile, Hanoi, Vietnam retained its spot at 21, as well as Jakarta, Indonesia at 62. Bangkok, Thailand fell 10 spots to 87 while Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) dropped a spot to 17.
Mr. Mabilog mentioned improvement of city infrastructure and a more economic coal-fired power source in La Paz district as some of the key drivers of the city’s position in the BPO map ranking.
He also explained that the Tholons report can be a tool to engage and attract more BPO investors to the city. In terms of land expansion area and commercial spaces, Iloilo definitely has more to offer compared to Cebu. Moreover, there are plans to improve basic infrastructure such as main roads to the city, airport, and recreational areas.
Regarding the pending US bill which will affect jobs in the outsourcing industry, Mr. Mabilog confidently answered that US is only one of the many countries that engage in outsourcing. He cited Europe, Asia, and the rest of America as opportunity sources and believes a lot of US firms do not support the said bill as it may adversely affect the costs of their operations, which will result to more businesses shutting down.
Moreover, the Tholons report stated that the robust growth of NCR (National Capital Region) improved its image as a voice-based BPO hub in Southeast Asia. In fact, the IT-BPO sector saw a 10.6 percent increase in the number of employees. The country has also surpassed India as the top call center destination, with more or less 400,000 call center agents compared to India’s 350,000.