Giant real estate developer Megaworld Corp. vowed to put Iloilo in the world map of rising business process outsourcing (BPO) industry with the development of 54-hectare old airport property in Mandurriao district.
“This is a rare opportunity for us to transform the site into a vibrant economic catalyst of Iloilo. Megaworld built its reputation throughout Manila and now we’re bringing that to Iloilo,” stressed Kingson Sian, Megaworld executive director and senior vice-president.
“We are bringing development we hope all Ilonggos can be truly proud of—this is our first major investment outside of Metro Manila,” he noted.
Megaworld is largest landlord of BPO companies in the Philippines and the fastest growing real estate company in the country, said Sian.
Why is Megaworld bullish on the property market?
“We have identified five growth drivers including BPO, middle-income housing, power of OFWs, decreasing home mortgage rate and government infrastructure spending,” Sian explained.
“Megaworld envisions the Iloilo Business Park a live-work-play-learn community hosting BPO offices, residential units, hotels, convention center, commercial and retail outlets, skills training center, and recreational facilities,” he pointed out.
Sian said a theme park will become a hub for tourists.
A pioneer in the development of cyber-parks, Megaworld foresees that BPO companies may be interested to set up offices in the Visayas region.
The BPO sector includes call centers, medical and legal transcriptions, software development, architecture and animation using state-of-the-art computer technology.
Megaworld would apply with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) for a special economic zone license to transform the old airport property into a new business district.
A Peza-accredited business hub which offers tax incentives to become a magnet for major BPO companies interested to expand in the metropolis.
In addition to office buildings for BPO industry, the project will host educational facilities geared to provide value added training to equip prospective employees with necessary skills suited to the requirements of call centers and other BPO businesses.
Iloilo is considered the center of trade and commerce and education being host to several universities in Panay Island.
“One of the key factors for success is manpower availability. We are very satisfied with the quality of labor and there are lots of universities here as what we need. Major telecom players are already established here. There’s no reason why Iloilo should not be in the world map of BPO,” Sian said.
He was referring to headlines that Cebu, Pasig and Baguio have been cited among the world’s emerging BPO centers.
“We are very excited—this is a wise investment. Iloilo is a very progressive city with very cooperative local government unit and we want to be a part of that growth. We will create a community—we want to add and enhance to the city’s growth. We don’t want to wait any longer—the opportunity is there,” Sian stressed.
He was also optimistic of adequate power supply which is vital especially to BPO center’s 24/7 operations.
“If the power concern is insurmountable, we could not have invested. But we are confident we could rise to the occasion and solve the problem,” said Sian.
Iloilo belongs to the “big city potential” category among prospective BPO locators because of its quality manpower and existing infrastructure, said Oscar Sañez, chief executive officer of Business Processing Association of the Philippines.
“The telecommunications infra here is one of the most modern and it is improving. We have highly qualified manpower here because of the number of universities and students here. We in the BPO sector are very bullish on Iloilo’s potentials because of these factors,” Sañez said.
This modified story first appeared in The Daily Guardian Dec. 10, 2010
Photo credits: Megaworld Global Estate Iloilo /Sta. Barbara Heights Township FB account