Lower costs lure BPOs to 'next wave' cities

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2018 02:54 PM

Call center agents wait for calls from their US clients as they work overnight in Manila's Makati financial district. Erik De Castro, Reuters/File

MANILA – Business process outsourcing companies are looking to add 100,000 square meters of office space in emerging urban centers in the next 3 years, with the potential to create jobs, according to a property consulting firm.

At least 10 local and international BPOs recently expanded in next wave cities including Baguio, Dagupan, Dasmarinas, Sta. Rosa, in Laguna, Roxas, Malolos, Taytay, Lipa and Naga, said Santos Knight Frank.

"BPOs will go to market where there is good educated demographic and lower labor costs," Santos Knight Frank chairman and CEO Rick Santos said.

Compared to costs in Metro Manila, BPOs in the provinces save 30 percent on building and maintenance costs and 50 to 60 percent less on labor, he said.

"BPO jobs bring the most money and more middle income will emerge in those areas where workers, mostly in their 20s and 30s, are making much more significantly, more than their moms and dads did and are able to increase the whole family’s lifestyle," said the firm's senior director of occupier services and commercial agency Morgan McGilvray.

"I think everyone gets a little bit wealthier and I think the impact will be higher in the provinces because they’re coming from the lowest base. They will see the most impact," he said.