Manila now No. 2 BPO destination

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Metro Manila has overtaken Mumbai, India, for second spot in the Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations for 2014, according to investment advisory firm Tholons.

Manila moved up one notch from its 2013 standing and next only to Bangalore, India, which continues to occupy the no. 1 position.

According to Tholons, “The growth rate of Manila’s BPO [business process outsourcing]sector remained consistent with previous years, and while contact support services continue to characterize the location’s identity, a notable increase in finance and accounting outsourced services and other higher value processes in the Information Technology outsourcing and other knowledge processes outsourcing spaces, have also been observed the past two years.”

Six other locations in the country also made it to the list, which is a flagship project of Tholons. Aside from Metro Manila, Cebu also figured in the top 10, maintaining its ranking at 8th place, while Davao City placed at 69th, Santa Rosa in Laguna at 82nd, and Bacolod at 93rd. Those locations all moved up in the rankings. Iloilo City, however, went down two notches from 93rd to 95th, while Baguio stayed at the 99th spot.


For the tier-2 locations, Tholons cited the concerted efforts by national and local governments, along with the Information Technology and Business Process Association (Ibpap), as the key factor in their emergence.

Undersecretary Louis Casambre of the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office attributed the improved rankings of some of the tier 2 locations to the Next Wave Cities program of the agency and Ibpap. The Next Wave Cities program was created in 2007, with the objective of developing globally preferred outsourcing destinations outside Metro Manila.

“Our goal for 2016 is to add three more cities from the Philippines in the top 100,” Casambre said.

Jose Mari Mercado, Ibpap president and chief executive officer, meanwhile, has committed to ensure that the Philippines continues to strengthen its global leadership position in the industry.

“While we are very happy with this achievement, we will continue to proactively undertake initiatives that will further the development and growth of the industry, which we hope will help propel us to the top in the years to come,” he added.

Ibpap targets $25 billion revenues and an estimated 1.3-million labor force by 2016. For 2013, initial estimates indicate a strong finish for the industry, with revenues seen to reach $15.5 billion, or a 16-percent year-on-year growth, and full-time employees at about 900,000, also a 16-percent increase year-on-year.

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