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New BPO Destination – Iligan City

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By Mark Atterby. Iligan City, in the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor in Northern Mindanao, has its sights firmly set on carving a lucrative slice of the BPO and IT Outsourcing pie for itself. As the industry spreads out from its core metropolitan location of Manila, Iligan is well positioned to attract a substantial amount of interest as a BPO destination.

Iligan is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of the numerous waterfalls located within its area.

Encompassing 813.37 square kilometres, Iligan is one of the 10 largest cities in the Philipines in terms of land area. It has an estimated population of 322,821. Though, on one hand a highly urbanised and industrial city of some 322, 821 souls, Iligan also has a strong connection with the natural environment that surrounds the city.

Iligan is known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of the numerous waterfalls located within its area. There are about 23 waterfalls in the city. The most famous as well as the city’s major landmark, is the Maria Cristina Falls.  It is also the primary source of electric power of the city, harnessed by Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.

Next Wave City

Iligan City is included in the Next Wave of Cities project. The project is about identifying and promoting alternative locations in the Philippines, such as Iligan, because of the growing number of competitors in Manila.

Gillian Virata, Senior Executive Director of BPAP, comments, “The IT-BPO industry is aware that the next wave of growth must involve alternative locations. The aim of the new wave cities program is to help ease the inflationary pressures brought about by concentration of recruitment and office space for IT-BPOs within Metro Manila.”

Workforce and Education

Iligan has access to a highly educated and qualified labour pool that’s cheaper than the competitive environment of Manila. Iligan has a 94.71% literacy rate which is one of the highest in the country. 15,000 graduates are produced each year. Many of these graduates are being groomed for work in the IT-BPO industry.

Infrastructure and transport

In terms of infrastructure and transportation Iligan has everything you would expect from a successful BPO location. The new Laguindingan International airport is 30km from downtown Iligan, services the growth and development of the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor with regular flights to Manila and other major cities in the Philippines.

Extensive broadband networks and Fiber Optic Cable telecommunications infrastructure have been deployed across the city. And of course plenty of electricity is generated by the hydro-electric infrastructure that takes advantage of the many water falls of the city.

Incentives

BPO companies looking to establish in Iligan will receive a five year tax holiday, PEZA accreditation plus two year exclusivity. This means they will have the advantage to look for ad engage the best agents/talents in the area,

These factors combined with the cheaper rent and labour, should make Iligan a popular offshore destination in years to come.
June 3, 2014
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