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Ayala Land spending P1 billion on Iloilo outsourcing complex

Posted on 10:58 PM, June 13, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

ILOILO CITY -- Ayala Land, Inc. is spending some P1 billion for its business processes outsourcing (BPO) facility here. Antonino T. Aquino, Ayala Land president, said his firm wants to make a strong presence in Iloilo by putting up the Iloilo-Ayala Land TechnoHub on a two-hectare lot located at Riverside Boardwalk in Barangay San Rafael at Mandurriao district.
“Iloilo is one of the major growth centers with its rich pool of manpower. Ayala Land would like to have a strong presence here by putting up the technohub which will address the lack of BPO spaces in Iloilo City,” Mr. Aquino said during the groundbreaking ceremonies for the project last Friday.
Mr. Aquino said the project will replicate the company’s existing environment-friendly developments such as the UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub in Quezon City and One Evotech at the Nuvali project, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
The technohub will be constructed in three phases. The first building, with an initial cost of P305 million, is a four-storey structure with approximately 9,500 square meters of area for lease. It is expected to be finished by the first quarter of 2011. The construction of the next two buildings will cost Ayala Land approximately P600 million, Mr. Aquino added.
Mr. Aquino said the technohub will offer amenities needed by BPO locators such as a convenience store, backup generators, and a water reservoir.
The project straddles the Riverside Boardwalk Leisure Park and Smallville Business and Leisure Complex in Mandurriao district. “It will be sitting in a nice location with hotels, malls, restaurants and other infrastructure attractive to BPO locators. This is the best place for the technohub,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mr. Aquino also cited Iloilo’s “rich manpower potential which is the number one item that BPO locators are looking for.”
As regards the locators, Mr. Aquino said many outsourcing firms want to move to Iloilo City “but there are not enough office space for them.”
“Very often, the locators said they want to move in next month but it takes nine months to create a building like this. Hopefully by the end of the first quarter next year, the building will be complete, and if the prospects continue to be positive, we’ll follow it through with the next building,” he added.
Mr. Aquino said BPO clients such as Convergys in Metro Manila have approached the company and expressed plans to expand to areas like Iloilo.
Ayala Land is seeking accreditation with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority for the technohub to become a special economic zone for IT, which means tax and other incentives.
“The application for accreditation has been endorsed by the local government and with that strong support, we can get the accreditation by the time the first building is finished,” Mr. Aquino said.
Iloilo City Mayor-elect Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said Ayala Land is just one of many investors interested in putting up BPO facilities in the city. He said the city government is also eyeing to lease some government-owned lands to investors.
“We have lots of idle properties that are in strategic locations and suitable to the needs of the BPO sector. We can either lease these properties on a long-term basis or opt to enter into a build-operate-transfer scheme with the investors,” Mr. Mabilog said. -- Francis Allan L. Angelo
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