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Bulacan launched as next wave city
Monday, 19 March 2012
The Province of Bulacan, particularly the City of Malolos, has been included on the Top 10 Next Wave Cities. This is the 3rd year in a row that Bulacan has been recognized by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines and Information (BPA/P) and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) as an attractive destination for IT and BPO investments.

The launching of the “Annual Report on the Top Ten Next Wave Cities (NWC): The Philippines Best IT-BPO Locations” took place on March 15, 2012 at Philamlife Tower, Makati City.

The NWCs or the emerging locations launched by BPA/P and ICTO were Davao, Sta. Rosa, Bacolod, Metro Cavite, Cagayan De Oro, Malolos, Baguio and Dumaguete.

Forty cities were ranked based on talent availability and potential, infrastructure, cost of doing business, and business environment and risk management (BERM)

Speaking at the launch of the NWCs 2010-2011 who have shared their valuable brain waves were DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, BPA/P President and CEO Benedict Hernandez, ICTO Deputy Executive Director Alejandro Melchor III and James Lang LaSalle Leechiu Country Head David Leechiu.

Benedict Hernandez cautioned the government against pushing for the removal of tax perks being enjoyed by foreign firms inside PEZA-registered sites-mostly BPOs.

“If we removed our tax incentive, the situation will worsen,” Hernandez said. “The cost of doing business in the Philippines is higher than in India, our country’s main rival in the BPO sector”.

For his part, Melchor who had presented the 2011 Perfect Storm Report said offering more incentives may give the Philippines a breathing space. “We should extend the tax holiday for at least 8 years like what Malaysia is offering to lure more investors.” China and Egypt, on the other hand, offer free rent up to years to draw BPO companies.

Despite the lower average salaries that BPO employees receive in the Philippines, our country remains uncompetitive in terms of cost of doing business due to expensive power rate – said to be one of the highest in the world.

Sharing the same view, David Leechiu said that the ridiculously expensive power rates may unplug the development of new locations for BPO. He called the attention of the industry to really look into this issue. ###

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