Some 80 percent of business processing management (BPM) centers aiming to expand in the regions are “moving back to Metro Manila areas,” according to a Colliers International official.
Jie Espinosa, Colliers International office services director, told reporters at the Philippine Real Estate Market briefing on Tuesday that BPM companies who look to other areas than Metro Manila to expand operations encountered problems related to slow infrastructure maturity, manpower and peace and order.
“A lot of these companies would look at provincial options but they tend to go back to Metro Manila, because some of the provincial options like infrastructure are not yet there,” he said.
“Most of these companies realize that infrastructure might take a while to mature. [About cost] yes, significantly lower [compared to Makati offices],” he added.
Rather than closing regional BPM satellites, Espinosa explained that the call centers in the regions would only “reach up to a certain level of improvement” and would not be able to expand further.
Several BPM companies, as well as other traditional office takers, are moving to Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA)-registered economic areas such as Cebu, Davao and Bacolod, particularly Davao where “major BPM companies like Teletech, Teleperformance and Convergys” are moving operations.
Besides infrastructure and manpower woes, these companies are also considering peace and order issues, and that the recent bombings in the provinces are “affecting the investors’ confidence.”
“I think [commotions and bombings]would affect [the business operations in the provinces], but we’re hoping that it will not be a prolonged and permanent,” Espinosa said.
As of the first quarter of 2013, about 30 percent of the BPM firms in Metro Manila have established provincial arms, while the other 70 percent have moved back most of their business requirements back the metropolis.