Bohol braces for BPO influx
The province of Bohol is now preparing for the influx of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) investments, especially the high-value services, this according to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) Asteria Caberte yesterday citing that there are already outsourcing companies operating in the province.
Recently, a big KPO (knowledge process outsourcing) has started hiring in Cebu. This company, she said offers offshore accounting services, among other back-office jobs to its clients from around the world.
Technologically, Bohol is ready to host outsourcing investments because the province’s connectivity is already powered by fiber optic.
Two years ago, Cebu has started its move to share the benefits of outsourcing to its neighbor province—Bohol.
According to Cebu IT-BPM Organization (CIB.O) managing director Wilfredo Sa-a Jr., a mentoring program was launched in 2016 to teach support industry players, as government authorities to effectively position Bohol as an alternative BPO investment hub.
Sa-a believes that Bohol has huge potential to grow its outsourcing sector. In fact, a growing number of BPO companies in Cebu are looking at Bohol as their expansion site.
However, the province still has address several challenges before it could fully take off as an alternative BPO hub.
One of the concerns is the unavailability of BPO-ready buildings to host this sector’s investments. Apparently, Sa-a said local developers or even real estate developers from Cebu are yet to recognize Bohol’s potential of office and commercial building developments.
“There are interested big BPO players want to set up offices in Bohol, but office facilities are not yet available,” said Sa-a.
Caberte, on the other hand said this concern is slowly being addressed in Bohol.
She is confident that aside from tourism, BPO will be the next huge revenue contributor for the island province.
Manufacturing and construction industries were identified as the fastest growing industries in Central Visayas for 2018.
Based on the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA-7) report presented yesterday on Region 7 economic performance for Central Visayas for 2018, construction grew by 14.3 percent, while manufacturing rose by 8.3 percent.
“We are happy that the industry sector grew the fastest, driven by the growth in manufacturing and construction. As we all know, these sub sectors [in the industry group] are labor-intensive. They are the major employers of our skilled and semiskilled, and even unskilled workers,” said National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-7) regional director Efren Carreon.
Among the provinces in the region, Cebu province had the most number of new construction projects in 2018, followed by Bohol, Negros Oriental, then Siquijor.
Growth-wise, Bohol had the highest increase in number of construction starts at 42 percent followed by Negros Oriental with almost 40 percent increase.
Carreon said there were several factors that pulled up the performance of construction in 2019, such as the high demand for residential and commercial spaces and the government’s build-buildbuild program.
Bureau of Customs BOC) record showed that seven of the region’s top 20 importers included; steel manufacturers, cement factories, a hardware store, and a paint manufacturer—all construction related businesses.
Meanwhile, the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) of Central Visayas in 2018, accelerated to 7.6 percent, from the 5.2 percent growth in 2017. The growth is driven by the strong services sector.
Of the 7.6 growth rate of the region’s economy, services contributed the most with 3.9 percentage points followed by industry with 3.6 percentage points; and agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing at 0.1 percentage point.