BPOs look to Manila, QC for sites


    The information technology (IT)-business process management (BPM) industry is holding dialogues with local government units (LGUs) in a bid to scout for space to accommodate industry expansion amid the ban on new economic zones in Metro Manila.

    Rey Untal, president and chief executive officer of the Information Technology Business Process Association (IBPAP), met with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Tuesday and will meet Manila Mayor Isko Moreno today on how they can collaborate in upskilling workers needed by the industry.

    Untal also plans to hold similar dialogues with the executives of Makati and Taguig cities.

    These dialogues could pave the way for new locations for BPOs whose pace of growth has to match space availability.

    Untal is initially targeting Manila since it only has one IT park, located in Sta. Mesa, and

    Quezon City which still has the sprawling Eton Centris as an IT park.

    Untal said based on the trajectory of a 8 to 9 percent growth annually, industry needs about 450,000 square meters every year.

    However, latest data show the contiguous available space in Metro Manila now is just 115,000 to 120,000 sq.m.

    While there are a few areas now heavily dense in terms of IT-IBPM locators — Quezon City, Makati, Taguig, Pasay, Alabang and Ortigas – there are cities like Manila, San Juan, Caloocan among others which have yet to be tapped, provided they have workers that meet their demand.

    Untal said IBPAP is hopeful the 21 IT zones pending at the Office of the President will be approved soon.

    “That will give us the flexibility… all is not lost,” Untal said.

    IBPAP capitalizes on Moreno’s campaign to bring in investments to Manila.

    “BPOs have a positive impact in the ecosystem, it can be transformative,” Untal said.

    Collaborations with LGUs could also strengthen a bid by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority 9 Metro Manila cities from the ban on the approval of new ecozones.

    These are  Manila, San Juan, Marikina, Las Piñas, Malabon, Caloocan, Pateros, Valenzuela and Navotas.