The development of the key province cities in the southern region of the Philippine islands is key to furthering the holistic economy of the country. Outside of Metro Manila, known as the country’s main hub for BPO, there are upcoming regions where BPO have since started and are continuously thriving.
There is Cebu Island and Bacolod city. Bacolod is found in the Negros Occidental region and many consider Bacolod as the heartland of Ilonggo culture. The Ilonggos, known for their soft-spoken nature, also possesses the linguistic capability to accentuate with western English.
With a booming infrastructure age for the island, BPO is also thriving in Bacolod. According to Colliers International Philippines, Bacolod city is a key destination for international BPO companies. For the BPO scene in Bacolod, the health information management (HIM) industry is thriving due to the city producing nursing and health related graduates.
According to Dom Fredrick Andaya, director for Office Services of Colliers, Bacolod city is an attractive destination for companies that are looking to plant BPO and KPO operations.
“Negros Occidental and Bacolod City have been active in attracting outsourcing investments. Local officials consider the BPO and KPO industry as a major job-generating sector,” said Andaya as quoted by Sun Star.
One of the major challenges for Bacolod in sustaining its BPO and KPO development is to upskill its current BPO workforce with a higher technical capacity for higher value outsourced work aside from voice and data entry.
Local initiative based on the city’s education sector and IT council is recommended by Mr Andaya as the local units must seek out partnerships with BPO companies in equipping the entry-level jobs for fresh graduates in order to fill out the strategic jobs of the future.
“This is particularly important as Bacolod City is positioning itself as a major software development and HIM destination in the countryside,” Mr Andaya was quoted by Sun Star.
Currently, BPO and KPO companies in Bacolod have a lot of vacancies when it comes to higher value based work ranging from IT, data processing and quality assurance.
In the recent Tholons Outsourcing Destination rankings, the city of Bacolod also fell slightly on its indexed position from 85th to 97th. One of the primary reasons is the vacancies confronting the Negros First Cyber Centre.
Despite the rankings, the BPO scene in Bacolod is resilient and is still a part of the five most competitive BPO hubs in the country. This comes to no surprise as more KPO companies are planning to expand to the city according to the Sun Star publication.
With the influx of more BPO and KPO companies, the city’s core competitiveness when it comes to IT-BPM will improve overtime. The city is also experiencing a real estate infrastructure boom where more office spaces are being developed to house the expansion of several BPO companies.
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