More job opportunities up for Ilonggos in Iloilo Business Park

Iloilo -- About 40,000 jobs await Ilonggos as more BPO companies are expected to put up shop at the 72-hectare Iloilo Business Park in the next three years.

Megaworld, the country’s premier property developer has announced that they will double their Iloilo Business Park office spaces to accommodate the growing clamor from BPO companies. “During the last three years, we have experienced a spike in the demand for office spaces in Iloilo Business Park. Thus, we expedited the construction of our first four towers and we have decided to build more to meet the demand,” says Jericho Go, senior vice president, Megaworld.

Within the year alone, Megaworld will open two towers – Festive Walk Tower and Two Techno Place – which will generate a total of 7,000 jobs. Two Techno Place is a five-level office building with an estimated leasable area of around 10,000 square meters. Festive Walk Office Tower, on the other hand, is a four-level office building with around 12,000 square meters of leasable spaces.

Harold Brian Geronimo, head of Public Relations & Media Affairs of Megaworld and Jericho Go, senior vice president of Megaworld show the artist’s perspectives of Festive Walk and Two Techno Place.

“From the current 45,000 square meters of office inventory in four office towers (One Global, Two Global, One Techno Place and Richmonde Tower), which as already been leased out, the company is expected to reach 100,000 square meters of office spaces in the township by 2020. This will cater to around 40,000 workers, mostly in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector,” stated Megaworld’s press release.

The article further stated that at present, Iloilo Business Park hosts to around 15,000 office workers from the seven BPO companies. These companies include StarTek, Transcom, Reed Elsevier, WNS and IQor, among others.

Go revealed that there is a high demand for labor in Iloilo. Before, there was a concern for manpower, such as readiness in terms of skills in accounting, health and more. However, when companies saw that earlier BPO players have succeeded here, they got attracted. 

In fact, “more countries are starting to realize that the Philippines can do data analytics. We have to believe that it can be done,” Go said.

With this development, Go said that reverse migration will happen. Meaning, more Ilonggos who have sought for greener pastures away from Iloilo will come back.

Iloilo Business Park

Iloilo’s infrastructure such as the beautiful airport, wide roads and lighting, has attracted Megaworld’s prospective clients.

Go lauded the Iloilo City Government for being proactive, saying that the city government made a conscious effort on zoning and that urban planning here is very organized.

“When they get to Iloilo Business Park ... it is as if we created a new city here. The buildings here are low-rise developments, meaning there are many breathing spaces. Many want to have buildings here because many now appreciate the township concept,” Go said.

BPO companies allowed Western companies to outsource jobs so that they can focus on their core competencies as well as cut costs because workers in the Philippines and other Asian countries can produce quality work at a lower salary compared to that in the U.S. or Europe.

But, American President Donald Trump’s proclamations that he will strive to bring back jobs to the United States has caused chills to our BPO sector which is considered to be the second largest source of income for the Philippines.

In December 2016, Trump warned American companies that they will be taxed heavily whereas those who decide to stay will enjoy a reduced corporate tax rate.

But, Go stressed that this is not contradictory. “BPO workers there do not last long and most of them are high school graduates. The jobs that they do not like in the U.S., we will do them. We will complement their jobs,” he said.

Additionally, American companies comprise only 50 percent of Megaworld’s investors, thus there is no concentration risk, Go assured.

The BPO industry generated 1.2 million direct jobs and US$ 22 billion in revenues in the year 2015 alone./Kathy Villalon

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