• Property firm eyes BPO project in La Union

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    LA UNION property company RCL Realty and Consulting Services Inc. is in talks with some call center companies to put up a business process outsourcing (BPO) project in the province which is certain to benefit once infrastructure projects that are in the pipeline are completed.

    In an interview last week, RCL Realty Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fausto Liriano told reporters that his company was in talks with some call centers for a BPO project that may be located in Poro Point, La Union.

    Poro Point is being considered because it is accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), he said.

    “Actually, one of our clients is already appointing us to represent them and manage their property,” Liriano said.

    Having PEZA accreditation or tax exemption status are some of the factors that BPO companies look for in a location outside of Metro Manila, according to Liriano.

    The Poro Point Special Economic Zone is a 236.5-hectare PEZA-accredited manufacturing economic zone in San Fernando, La Union, operated by the Poro Point Management Corporation.

    In a separate interview last week, La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III said they expect BPO companies to locate in Poro Point in the coming years.

    “There are infrastructures in place in Poro. There’s a building there for a call center. So hopefully they will come in. We just have to continue providing the services,” Ortega said.

    “If there’s peace and order in the area, investors will come in,” he added, noting that peace and order is the number one priority of the province.

    Liriano said he hopes more property developers in La Union will get their properties accredited by PEZA.
    “I’ve recommended that to some of our clients to get PEZA accreditation so that in time, later on, they can also accommodate call centers of BPOs,” Liriano said.

    A report by CBRE Philippines said that BPO companies look for locations outside of the Metro where they can tap into the labor pool. CBRE noted that more than 70 percent of BPO jobs today are based in Metro Manila, which means about 62 percent of the Metro Manila 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,” CBRE said.

    Liriano said La Union has the talent needed to attract BPO companies since there are many colleges in the area.

    “It’s sad that a lot of people have to relocate to Baguio, for example, to work for a call center or are going to Manila because majority of the people who graduate here speak very good English. And majority of them are also very well educated,” Liriano said.

    Khenrik Tan, chief executive officer of North Luzon-based developer Wynsland Development Corporation, said the La Union government and educational institutions in the province are keen on supporting the BPO industry.
    “Once the BPOs went looking here for properties to develop, the schools here are already willing to have courses specifically for those BPOs,” Tan said.

    “What’s really lacking, sad to say, is infrastructure,” Liriano said, although he remains optimistic for the province due to the ongoing construction of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union-Expressway or TPLEx project.

    “But now with the TPLEX, the travel time is getting short and there is an international airport here. It’s not operational [yet]but I believe it’s going to be operational really soon,” Liriano said.

    Last month, a new exit on TPLEX along the Binalonan-Dagupan Highway in Barangay Linsangan in Pangasinan was opened. So far, 67.9 kilometers of the 88.85-kilometer expressway from Tarlac City to Rosario, La Union has been completed, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

    Rojas, Chong, Liriano (RCL) Realty and Consulting Services, Inc. is a real estate and property development advisory firm that offers services such as senior management level consultancy, real estate sales and marketing, project management and development, construction services, value engineering, master planning, and investor relations.

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