Profriends wants BPO sector decentralized


Property Co. of Friends Inc. (Profriends) is pushing for the decentralization of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector and spread of related developments outside of Metro Manila, a company official said.

In a recent interview, Profriends Chief Finance Officer Rosanne Duavit-Santiago told reporters the property developer is tapping into the BPO sector and creating opportunities outside of Metro Manila to decongest the capital.

“The BPOs don’t have any more incentives in Metro Manila. Their incentives are outside of Metro Manila. They’re trying to decongest Metro Manila. So we’re trying to tap that particular market, the BPOs and the workers can actually live near their workplace,” Santiago said.

She emphasized the property developer is trying to create employment opportunities in the Cavite area by developing the office component for Lancaster New City.

“The incentives of the government should actually be outside Metro Manila already so that we decongest Metro Manila – and that’s basically what we’re doing,” Santiago said.

“When we developed the mixed-use commercial development in our area, we’re trying to move also employment to that area so that you can live in an area that’s actually near your workplace.”

Of the 1500-hectare Lancaster New City development, around 25 hectares will be allotted to BPO buildings, Santiago said. She noted the firm is targeting to develop 16,000 seats for the BPO sector.

“Actually we’ll already have a thousand seats by the end of this year, and the take-up is quite good,” Santiago noted.

At present, around 400 BPO seats have been taken in Lancaster.

“Some are already there. Around 400 are already occupied at this time. So there’s another thousand available by June,” Santiago said.

To entice BPO companies to locate in the area, Santiago said the firm is holding job fairs and training for the people Cavite for a labor pool BPO companies need.

“We have a job fair actually so that they would know that there would be potential labor market in that area for their BPOs,” Santiago said.

CBRE Philippines noted BPO companies are expanding outside of Metro Manila in a bid to tap the labor pool in other markets.

According to the real estate advisor, Metro Manila would be the priority location for outsourcing companies. But more than 70 percent of BPO jobs today are based in Metro Manila, where an estimated 62 percent of the talent pool has already been absorbed.

“These companies are locating outside Metro Manila where there is more untapped labor and where they have less competition and limited poaching,” according to CBRE.

Santiago noted if Profriends is able to create employment opportunities in Cavite, it would help decongest Metro Manila as more residents would be able to work in the area instead of traveling daily to and from Metro Manila for work.

“Well if you bring the jobs in Cavite, then they will stay in Cavite. So we’d like to bring the BPOs there,” Santiago said.

Lancaster is a 1500-hectare mixed-use estate that straddles the Kawit, Imus, and General Trias.

Profriends reported a net income of P563.2 million in the first quarter of the year, up 251 percent from P160.4 million a year earlier.

In August 2015, GT Capital Holdings Inc. acquired a 22.68 percent stake in Profriends for P7.24 billion. The transaction gave the holding company of business tycoon George Ty the option to raise its equity stake in the mass housing developer to 51 percent over the next three years.


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