MANILA, Philippines – The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) has identified a new set of areas outside Metro Manila and Metro Cebu to serve as the country’s next information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) hubs.
Called the 10 next wave cities, these areas are seen as locations that will best enable and support the continued growth of the country’s booming IT-BPM sector.
The cities are Baguio, Cagayan De Oro, Dagupan, Dasmariñas, Dumaguete, Lipa, Malolos, Naga, Sta. Rosa in Laguna and Taytay in Rizal.
IBPAP said these sites emerged as the top locations for local and international IT-BPM players based on assessments of 42 cities last year on indicators reflecting talent availability, presence of infrastructure, good business environment, and cost competitiveness.
“All these are factored in to evaluate a city’s ability to enable and support the entry and growth of IT-BPM companies in its area,” the IBPAP said.
IBPAP chairman Danilo Sebastian Reyes said the next wave cities are expected to contribute 40 percent to total revenue and employment of the country’s IT-BPM industry.
Based on an assessment two years ago, Reyes said the contribution of next wave cities account only to 22 percent of the total IT-BPM industry, with the larger portion coming from Metro Cebu and Metro Manila.
The technical working group which evaluated and identified the 10 next wave cities is composed of IBPAP, the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office, and the Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC).
“The idea is to spread out development of the industry so it can further drive the local economy,” Reyes said.
“The economic turmoil in the Western countries and China has spelled greater need to move business operations here in the Philippines where there is a large pool of talent and where it’s cost-efficient. The IT-BPM industry will see sustained growth in the coming years and that’s why industry players now move to the provinces where there’s great potential,” LPC chief executive officer David Leechiu said.
Aside from the 10 next wave cities, 10 more locations were identified as new emerging cities.
The emerging cities are Balanga City, Batangas City, Iriga City, Laoag City, Legazpi City, Puerto Princesa City, Roxas City, Tarlac City, Tuguegarao City and Zamboanga City.
“These have the potential and have the foundation to become future next wave cities. We are hoping that after two years they will move up,” IBPAP CEO and president Jomari Mercado said.
Meanwhile, Davao City and Iloilo City have been elevated to the status of centers of excellence for IT-BPM operations, joining Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Clark, and Bacolod City as the established and high density locations.
“One of the reasons why we come up with this list is to provide locators and investors a shortlist so they don’t have to spend money, extra time and effort to do due diligence of which cities should they go to. So if there’s an investor that says I want to expand outside Metro Manila, they don’t have to do the work, we’ve done the work for you. Here’s the top 10,” Mercado said.