FILINVEST Land Inc. soft-opened on Friday Tower 1 of its P5-billion business process outsourcing (BPO) complex Filinvest Cyberzone Cebu.

The complex will house four towers and generate around a 100,000 jobs in Cebu by 2020, officials said. The 10-storey Tower 1 is expected to be operational early next year.

The project is adjacent to the Cebu IT Park of the Cebu Property Ventures Development Corp (CPVDC).

FLI vice president for office leasing Maricel Lirio said there are no official lessors yet, attributing the delay to the existing perimeter wall that blocks FLI passage to the main access road W. Geonzon St.

Earlier, CPVDC sued FLI, the Cebu City Government and Megawide Construction Corp. in a bid to stop the demolition.

CPVDC is a subsidiary of Cebu Holdings Inc., which is an affiliate of Ayala Land.

“We could have signed it (the contract) already (with the tenants) but they are hesitant to do so. They wanted five floors but we lost the account.

They wanted to move in by the last quarter of this year but we cannot guarantee (that that perimeter wall will be torn down) at that time,” Lirio told reporters.

Tenants who have expressed interest to locate in Cyberzone Cebu are existing BPO and IT companies who want to expand their operations to Cebu.

Tower 1 was supposed to operate by December 2012, according to FLI general manager for Cebu and Visayas and vice president for strategic and business development Allan Alfon. Direct employment for Tower 1 alone could go as high as 12,000.

“We continue to trust the province of Cebu, especially the governor, that based on their commitment, the wall will be torn down. We are confident that it will be torn down by next month,” Alfon said.

He said that under the contract, FLI is “guaranteed unhampered and unrestricted access” to and from W. Geonzon St.

In a separate interview, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he hopes the wall will be taken down before the year ends.

Cyberzone is a joint venture between Capitol and FLI under the build-transfer-operate (BTO) scheme in 25 years.

Under the agreement, FLI, through Cyberzone Properties Inc, will be obligated to pay P500,000 to Capitol as its share of revenue or two percent of the monthly revenues generated, whichever is higher.

Over the past years, FLI has invested more than P30 billion in Cebu in its residential and hotel projects.

Lirio said the company is also looking into other provinces for the development of another Cyberzone.