IBPAP to expand list of Next Wave Cities

By Louella D. Desiderio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 23 2014 07:58 AM | Updated as of Sep 23 2014 03:58 PM

MANILA - The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) is looking to expand the list of Next Wave Cities or information communication technology (ICT) hubs as it seeks to promote more investments and make the country a competitive location for information technology – business process management (IT-BPM) services.

“There are ongoing evaluations on expanding that list. We will announce that soon…within the year,” IBPAP chairman Danilo Sebastian Reyes told reporters yesterday on the sidelines of the 1st IT-BPM Quality Summit.

The Next Wave Cities is a list of ICT hubs beyond Metro Manila identified by the IBPAP and the Department of Science and Technology, based on a set of criterias such as worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors needed to sustain the BPO industry.

The country’s Next Wave Cities are Baguio, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Lipa, Metro Bulacan (Baliuag, Calumpit, Malolos, Marilao, and Meycauayan), Metro Cavite (Bacoor, Dasmariñas, and Imus), Metro Laguna (Calamba, Los Baños, and Sta. Rosa), Metro Naga (Naga and Pili), and Metro Rizal (Antipolo, Cainta, and Taytay).

Reyes said the IBPAP plans to add five more cities to the list.

The IBPAP wants to expand the list of ICT hubs to offer more potential sites to investors.

“We want to spread out locations of IT-BPO to ensure the competitiveness of the Philippines,” he said.

“We also want to spread risks as far as business continuity is concerned,” he added.

But while the IBPAP wants to have more Next Wave Cities, he said the group needs to be careful in choosing which cities to add to the list since firms consider such in making investment decisions here.

The Next Wave Cities list has helped make the country a more attractive location for IT-BPM services.

The country’s IT-BPM industry aims to generate $25 billion worth of revenues and create 1.3 million direct jobs by 2016.

Reyes said the industry is on track to meet its goals.

Last year, revenues of the of the IT-BPM sector reached $15.5 billion, 17 percent higher than the $13.2 billion in 2012.

In terms of employment, the sector’s workforce count went up to 900,000 in 2013 compared to the 777,000 in the previous year.

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