30,000 workforce by 2018

IN MINDANAO, Davao City is considered to be one of the cities with the fastest-growing business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, together with Cagayan de Oro City.

The ICT Davao Inc., the umbrella organization of information communications technology (ICT)-BPO trade and associations, commits to help achieve the industry's target of 30,000 strong workforce by 2018.

“The information communications technology, for the past five years, had been one of the booming industries of Davao City. They are among those with the highest contribution in the economy of the city. Apart from that, they also provide lots of employment in Davao City and we actually welcome these industries under the ICT sector because for one, it’s one of our priority investment areas here in Davao City,” said DCIPC head Lemuel Ortonio.

The ICT is indicated in our investment incentive code as one of our preferred industries, Ortonio added.

As of 2015, there are recorded 58 contact centers, nine data entry/transcription, two software, graphics, and content, and two engineering and design process establishments in Davao City, with Convergy’s, Concentrix, and Sutherland being the pioneering BPO companies in the city.

There were a total of 35,000 ICT full time employees recorded in 2015 for the entire Davao City. Of this number, 29,888 were working as BPO voice contact center employees, 1,027 worked as BPO non-voice employees (data entry and transcription), 1,225 functioned as knowledge process outsourcing, which primarily dealt with content/graphics, animation, and engineering services and design. About 550 employees worked as software developers. The employment is targeted to increase to 70,000 by 2018.

IT Parks and buildings in Davao City

At present, there are eight IT Parks/buildings in the city that are Philippine Economic Zone Authority-certified, which home to a number of call center companies.

Damosa IT Park in Lanang Davao City is home to Concentrix; Matina IT Park homes Expert Global Solutions Inc.; VXI Global Holdings can be found in two IT buildings in the city, Robinsons Cybergate and SM City Annex. Teleperformance can also be found at SM City Annex.

Convergy's is located at Ayala Technohub, an IT hub which is a product of a joint venture by Ayala Land, Inc. and Anflo Management and Investment Corp.

Sutherland Global Services, one of the pioneering BPO companies in Davao City can be found at Luisa Avenue IT Center, along E. Jacinto Ext., owned by Jason Huang since 2008. NCCC Mall Davao houses Survey Sampling International. Felcris Centrale, a shopping center along Quimpo Boulevard, provides a 12-storey space perfect for IT-BPO companies and is still up for leasing.

According to a data provided by the Board of Investments (BOI), Flatworld Solutions Philippines, Inc. was recorded to have invested around P13 million for the establishment of a BPO business support and data entry services at Sobrecarey Street.

By the following year, P118.66 million as invested by Cybercity Teleservices (Phils) Inc., a British company that provides new export services (contact center).

Future BPO facilities

Two towers of Abreeza BPO building, which are both eight-storey high and are 8,000-square meter (sqm) and 10,000 sqm wide, respectively, are projected to open sometime around next year which would accommodate different BPO companies. It will be located at the back of Abreeza Ayala Malls.

Megaworld has an 11-hectare development being ramped up at Davao Park District, Lanang. It targets to finish two towers, namely, “One Republic Plaza” and “Emperador House,” which will provide about 30,000 sqm of office spaces. The company has around 130 existing IT and BPO company clients nationwide.

“We are hoping that with their opening here in Davao City, they will bring with them their BPO clients, which are originally from Manila and Cebu, here in Davao City as well,” Ortonio said.

The SM Development Corporation will also establish a 5-storey cark park building, which will house BPO locators and food tenants for the residents’ convenience.

The Cebu Landmasters Inc. has also recently announced that their joint venture with Yuson Commercial Investments will transform the Matina Golf and Country Club into a central business district similar to Cebu IT Park.

Ortonio said there had been investors inquiring in their office particularly expressing interest on investing in BPO industry in the city late last year.

“We had provided them with the information that they need at the same time we assisted them with the tours around the city. We showed them the vacant spaces at Felcris Centrale which is the current available office spaces for BPO companies as of the moment,” said Ortonio, adding the investor inquiries are already a combination of local and foreign businessmen.
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