Megaworld doubles investment-A A +A
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
MEGAWORLD Corp. announced yesterday it was doubling its investment in The Mactan Newtown from P10 billion to P20 billion in the next five to seven years.
President Benigno Aquino III and Megaworld chairman and chief executive officer Andrew Tan led the inauguration of the company’s first township in Central Visayas. Top investors from Japan and BPO executives attended the event.
Tan said the P20 billion investment is to “build luxury residential condominiums, office towers, a world-class lifestyle mall, our very own Richmonde Hotel and soon - a sports and leisure facility.”
“We are truly enthusiastic and optimistic about the socio-economic vibrancy of Cebu,”
Aquino in his speech said huge investments from companies like Megaworld reflects the strong optimism and confidence of local investors in the country’s economy.
“Projects like this is a valuable checkpoint for us,” Aquino said. He said his administration will prioritize the offering of competitive incentives to lure more investments into the country.
Aquino said the project will help grow employment not only in the information technology (IT), business process outsourcing (BPO) and knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) industries but also in tourism.
He praised the company for putting up hotels in the development, saying these would address the additional rooms needed to accommodate the government’s target of 10 million foreign tourists by 2016.
The 20-hectare Mactan Newtown was declared a mixed-used special economic zone for information technology, tourism and retirement under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The project is expected to generate employment for 25,000 full-time BPO workers with the completion in five to seven years.
In a separate interview, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Prudencio Gesta told reporters they “strongly welcome” this new development in the province as it will bring in more business opportunities. He said it will have collateral benefits in transportation, construction, food and retail.
He said local government units and the private sector should support developments such as The Mactan Newtown.
While saying the new project would boost employment opportunities, Cebu Business Club president Gordon Allan Joseph said he is concerned about Lapu-Lapu City’s capabilities in terms of being able to manage the inevitable increase in traffic, and their poor record in water, solid waste management and in sewage.
“If the city does not act now to develop a comprehensive plan to address investors’ needs then these developments will be stifled,” Joseph said in a text message yesterday.
Meanwhile, Tan acknowledged the efforts of the Philippine Retirement Authority in helping Japanese retirees and investors acquire Special Resident Retiree’s Visa.
“More and more investors from Japan come into the country because of their confidence to the sound economic policies and good governance of the Aquino administration,” said Tan.
The four condo towers of 8 Newtown Boulevard have been sold out mostly to Japanese retirees in less than six months after it was launched last year. The three residential towers of One Pacific Residence are now almost soldout just five months after it was launched in Cebu.
The company is set to launch another luxury condo cluster in the first half this year following the “remarkable and impressive” take-up rate of the two residential clusters.
Like Tan, executives of EnfraUSA and Results Manila, the first BPO locators at One World Pacific, are excited about their expansion in Cebu.
Justin Harmon, Results Manila director of Account Operations-Philippines, said they are looking at hiring 600 to 1,000 employees for their Cebu operations.
Harmon is confident they can tap into Cebu’s rich talent pool. “We are excited on the talent that we can draw here,” he said.
Results Manila is a customer contact solutions provider for many Fortune 500 companies. They offer call center solutions from IT, telephony, data and reporting to training, quality, and center management needs. It has three offices in Metro Manila employing a total of 3,500 workers. The company is headquartered in the US and the Philippines is said to be its biggest presence.
Executives of EnfraUSA, on the other hand, said they will initially employ 400 workers for the first phase of their operation in Cebu.
Ray Chiu said the company’s main office is in the US but picked Philippines for their BPO services because of its young and talented workforce with excellent communications skills.
“The presence of big BPO companies here is enough reason why we are in the right location for our expansion,” said Chiu.
Start of operations
EnfraUSA opened operations in the Philippines in 2004. It has two offices in Manila.
The company is a BPO service provider to a wide range of sectors, including finance and accounting, collections and customer service, health care, software development, insurance, supply chain and procurement, analytics, enterprise application, IT infrastructure and management.
Both Results Manila and EnfraUSA will start operations in April.
Due to the demand for office spaces, Megaworld also broke ground on Two World Center yesterday, which would provide a total of 7,200 square meter leasable area that can accommodate 2,000 more BPO employees.
The firm said two to three more BPO companies are expected to expand operations in The Mactan Newtown this year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 21, 2013.