DESTINATION: BULACAN—INFRASTRUCTURE ALREADY IN PLACE FOR I.T.-BPO OPS

Bulacan shares common boundaries with Metro Manila’s cities, namely, Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela Cities.

Its strategic location and its major road networks—the MacArthur Highway (Manila North Road) and the 88-km North Luzon Expressway (NLEX)—connect Metro Manila with Central and Northern Luzon.

Bulacan shares Metro Manila’s infrastructure for transport and travel
The province shares much of the same transport infrastructure as Metro Manila and has built-up industrial areas.

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City is only about 1.5 hours away from the NLEX tollgate, close to Bulacan’s border.

Public transportation within the province, like in most urban areas in the Philippine, involves taking jeepneys, public utility vans (known as FXs), and buses to get around Bulacan and to and from Metro Manila or other provinces of Northern Luzon.

Locators will also find proximity to Metro Manila an added bonus, with four (4) nearby PEZA-registered IT Parks—the Bulacan ICT Park in Marilao and Supima E-Circle in Meycauayan City, DDRC Information Technology Park in Malolos City and the newly established PDC Techno Park in San Rafael, Bulacan.

Choosing Bulacan as a BPO site has its distinct advantages—and some challenges. Bulacan’s notable infrastructure facilities mirror that of Metro Manila; locators would therefore enjoy the same technical advantages, redundancy, and world-class capabilities that are keys in running sustainable and successful BPO operations in Bulacan as they would in Metro Manila.

Bulacan’s world-class telecoms and power infrastructure
The dominant telecommunication providers in Bulacan are Bayan, Digitel, and PLDT, which offer world-class telecommunications and interconnection services.

Bulacan is part of PLDT’s domestic fiber-optic network covering Central and Northern Luzon.

Digitel telephone lines, which are now owned by PLDT, cover the whole province of except for Doña Remedios, Bulacan.

Digitel provides Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), a 24x7 wired broadband with the speed of 4 mbps. Triple redundancy could also be provided upon request.

Internet service providers Mozcom and Pacific Internet are also present and provide Internet connectivity to subscribers.

Brownout free location
The efficient Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) is Bulacan’s main power distributor and provider. All the electricity supplied by MERALCO and local power-generating companies is fully available to the residents and other business enterprises in Bulacan without brownouts.

Local industries are self-sufficient and do not rely on power providers. An example is the Bacnotan Group of cement companies, which are self- sufficient with a commissioned 52-megawatt power plant supplying all the requirements of its manufacturing facilities in Bulacan.

Cost-effective location

Cost of Doing Business Compared with other Top Ten Next Wave Cities
(NWCs) as of October 2008
  Bulacan NWC Mean NWC High NWC Low
Labor (P/Month) 6,644.00 6,556.00 6,798.00 5,170.00
Real Estate Rent
(P/sq.m./month)
400.00 404.00 451.00 310.00
Power (P/kwh) 5.43 5.43 5.67 3.38

In terms of cost, Bulacan is at par with the top-10 NWC mean score of 67%.

Based on the August 28, 2008, National Wages and Productivity Commission statistics, the minimum wage for the cities of Bulacan is pegged at P302 a day or P6,644 a month for non-agricultural workers, an amount substantially lower than the P7,590 to P8,404 a month rate for the same category of workers in Metro Manila.

Nonetheless, the Bulacan’s wage rates are among the highest of the top-10 NWCs (along with locations in Pampanga) because of their proximity to Metro Manila and other urban locations which offer relatively high wages.