MANILA — A total of 63 new information-technology (IT) parks are now being developed nationwide, House Deputy Majority Leader Roman Romulo, who represents the lone district of Pasig City in Congress, revealed today, Sept. 21. He said 41 of the emerging IT parks are in the provinces while 22 are in the National Capital Region.
“We strongly favor the advancement of new IT parks in highly urbanized corners outside Metro Manila. This will spur on balanced economic growth all over the country,” Romulo said. He is a key backer of the labor-intensive, IT-enabled business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
BPO firms are the predominant locators in tax-advantaged IT parks registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
Romulo described IT parks and BPO firms as “powerful drivers of jobs creation, consumption and overall economic growth.”
“It would not be fair to restrict to Metro Manila the potential growth opportunities that come with every new IT park,” said Romulo, also vice chairman of the House information and communications technology committee.
He cited the mandates of the 1987 Constitution for all regions of the country to be given optimum opportunity to develop; for a more equitable distribution of opportunities, income and wealth; and for the full and efficient use of the nation’s human resources.
According to Romulo, the new IT parks in the provinces would provide the extra infrastructure and connectivity needed to support the rapid expansion of the BPO industry in the years ahead.
“In terms of human resources, we have several cities outside Metro Manila that produce thousands of college-educated, fluent English-speaking professionals every year,” he pointed out.
Romulo is author of the Data Privacy Act, which was signed into law by President Aquino on Aug. 15, is anticipated to further encourage global corporations to either establish in-house back offices in Manila, or relegate their non-core, business support activities to independent BPO firms operating here.
The law commands all entities, including BPO firms, to protect the confidentiality of personal information collected from clients, in compliance with rigorous international privacy standards.
Romulo specified the 41 emerging IT parks outside Metro Manila as follows:
Cebu City (7): FLB Corporate Center, GAGFA IT Center, GT Times Square, HMDF-WTCI IT Tower, Innove IT Plaza, Maria Cristina IT Building, and Quimonda IT Center.
Mandaue City (5): GGVPI IT Zone, Hi Point IT Towers I, II and III, and Taft IT Park.
Cagayan de Oro City (5): Georgetown Cybermall IT Building, Limketkai IT Center, Ororama Megacenter, Robinsons Place, and SMCO IT Center.
Bacolod City (3): Bacolod IT Park, Lopue’s San Sebastian IT Center, and St. Francis IT Center.
Iloilo City (3): Iloilo Business Park, Plazuela de Iloilo, and Robinsons Place.
Biñan City (2): Ecocentrum BPO/IT Park and One Asia Business Center.
Tarlac City (2): Tarlac Provincial IT Parks I and II.
New IT parks are also rising in Baguio City (PCH IT Center); Cabanatuan City (Megacenter IT Building); Dasmariñas City (Robinsons Place) Dumaguete City (LinkSy IT Park); General Santos City (Mabuhay IT Park); Lipa City (SM City IT Center); Naga City (Naga Center IT Cyber Park); San Fernando City (Robinsons Starmills); and Urdaneta City (CB Mall IT Center).
Similar parks are likewise coming out in the Municipality of Marilao in Bulacan (First Bulacan IT Park); Municipality of Bacong in Negros Oriental (Federated IT Park I); Municipality of Sibulan, also in Negros Oriental (Federated IT Park II); Municipality of Rosario in Cavite (SM City IT Center); and Municipality of Silang, also in Cavite (South Forbes Cyber Park).
The booming IT-enabled services industry encompasses contact center services; back offices; medical, legal and other data transcription; animation; software development; engineering design; and digital content. It is projected to produce $27 billion in revenues and directly engage some 1.3 million Filipino workers by 2016.
This year, the Business Processing Association of the Philippines sees the industry generating $13 billion in revenues on a labor force of 764,000.