Cebu, 8th Best Site for BPO

ITS booming business process outsourcing (BPO) sector has again gained Cebu City a place among the world’s best.

Tholons, an advisory company on global outsourcing and investments, included the city in a list of preferred outsourcing destinations in the world.

In its “Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations Report for 2013”, Tholons listed the city in eighth place. This is a notch higher compared to the city’s ranking last year.

Aside from Cebu, six other Philippine destinations were included in the list. Manila is now third, moving up from fourth last year. Davao ranked number 70; Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 84; Iloilo City, 93; Bacolod City, 94; and Baguio City, 99.

Tholons ranked the cities based on the quality, availability and skills of the workers in its BPO industry, cost of operations, infrastructure, cost of living, risk profile and quality of life, among others.

According to the report, the Philippines enjoy a more vibrant Information Technology (IT)-BPO industry than either Indonesia or Malaysia.

“Based on the events of 2012, the Philippines continued to garner interest from large, Western providers, not only as an offshore delivery location, but likewise as a potential rich domestic market for IT services,” Tholons said.

In 2012, 17 new BPO companies opened in Cebu.

The Cebu Investment Promotions Center estimates that there are already about 95,000 people employed in the BPO sector in Cebu.

Upon learning about the city’s recent achievement, Mayor Michael Rama said he welcomed the inclusion of the city in Tholons list.

“That wonderful accolade will be for all of us. It was a great surprise personally for me,” he said in his regular news conference yesterday.

ADB Official Cites PH Development Path

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the country director for the Philippines mentioned last Wednesday that the Philippines is one of the good examples of countries taking path of development from an agricultural economy to one that is largely supported by services.

Neeraj Jain said at a briefing, that the traditional path is to move from agriculture to industries and then to services.

“This is happening amid the revolution in telecommunications in the Philippines, and experts are now raising the question of whether economies like these are conducive to growth that is inclusive or employment-friendly,” he said.

Also, the ADB official said that the Philippines financial market would need to acquire long-term instruments to help government efforts in encouraging investments in infrastructure.

Improved infrastructure

He stated that improved infrastructure would help efforts in the Philippines to move up to higher value-added activities, particularly the manufacturing and services sectors.

An example that Jain said as an example for the better infrastructure is that it can help in the push for the business process outsourcing sector to develop service offerings other than voice-based call centers.

He said longer-term loans had to be made available for undertakings such as public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

Funding for PPP

“Banks are now providing (loans) that mature in 10 or 12 years,” he said, adding that longer intentions will provide a greater boost to infrastructure projects.

The ADB announced last month the funding support for the PPP initiative “to help sustain the positive reform momentum.”

On the other hand, Australia, through the means of the Australian Agency for International Development, has set aside $15 million for the project development and monitoring facility (PDMF) that the ADB administers. The amount was on top of the $7 million provided to the facility last year.

Jain said the additional fund would mean that the PDMF would be able to support the preparation of more PPP projects than what was previously expected as doable.

With the additional fund, it is estimated that at least 12 PPP projects would be implemented or ready by 2016, more than twice the government target of five projects by the end of 2013.

McDonald’s BF-GF Commercial made a Controversy

BY: KRIS JOHN ENCOMIENDA

The world’s largest food chain has pulled out its latest 30 second TV advertisement having a boy and a girl (minor kids) in a BF-GF theme, after Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) reacted on the message of the TVC’s storyline perspective.

The CBCP officials sought the McDo TVC is misleading its message to youngsters. In the commercial situation, the girl asks the boy if she could be his girlfriend, but the boy quickly answered that he doesn’t want to. Claiming that girlfriends now are too demanding, but story ended, that the girl only wants to have a Mcdo fries amounting to only P25.

Via Radio Veritas, McDonald’s Philippines Vice President for Marketing Margot Torres told that they have pulled out the ad because they respect the call of Caloocan Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and will be releasing different McDonald’s commercial this week.

TVC received a feedback from Fr. Melvin Castro, the executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said that the commercial is very shallow and it cheapens human relationships, from Inquirer.net., “If the TV ad attempted to teach commitment, it failed because it was too superficial to point to a packet of French fries as the basis of a relationship. At a very, very young age, thеѕе kids ѕhουƖԁ instead be taught the value of loving thеіr parents, thеіr country, environment аnԁ God, nοt аbουt a relationship it is nοt уеt appropriate for thеіr age, Fr. Castro added.

Another issue regarding Mcdonald’s, is about the fast-food restaurant fry showdown between Wendy’s natural-cut fries with sea salt and McDo’s shoestring potatoes, as Wendy’s claims that most of US customers liked their fries based on US national taste test as they got 56 percent from the consumers along with 39 percent only of competitor(McDo), released this week.

Wendy’s food chain are now striving to be identified after re-engineering their recipe for fries that is now made from Russet potatoes and sea salt, launched last year.

Business Incorporation in the Philippines: How to Incorporate Legally.

by: Austin Shi

Date published: 4/4/2011

From Doing Business in the Philippines Blog

In starting and incorporating a new business in the Philippines, a foreign company faces a number of bureaucratic and legal hurdles that make the entire process both complicated and tedious. However, if armed with the right information, the company will be able to overcome these initial difficulties, and incorporate the business successfully in the Philippines. A number of things must be taken into consideration in incorporating a business in the Philippines. The company must first determine the best investment vehicle for setting up operations in the country, and register the business with the relevant government agencies, including the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

According to Business Consultant Gregory Kittelson of Philippines consulting firm Kittelson & Carpo Consulting,

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

Mr. Gregory Kittelson

“Incorporating a business in the Philippines is a long and somewhat complicated process for foreign owned companies and could become problematic down the line, even if the company is 100% compliant from the very beginning.  It is imperative to either know the exact incorporation steps yourself and ensure they are implemented on time or find a company or individual who specializes in Philippine business registration to assist you.”

Moreover, special income tax holidays and regimes are also available to foreign companies interested in setting up and incorporating a business here in the Philippines. In order to become eligible for these benefits, companies must first comply with a list of government-issued requirements, including business registration with government agencies like PEZA and BOI. There are four possible options in setting up and incorporating a business in the Philippines. A company may choose to set up a fully-foreign owned branch office, a fully-foreign owned representative office, a fully-foreign owned domestic corporation or a 60/40 subsidiary. Each of these options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and a foreign company must incorporate the business according to what is most beneficial.

In incorporating a business in the Philippines, the following steps must be followed: Procedures may vary according to the type of company being registered, but the general procedure is essentially the same.

  • Determine the Availability and Reserve a Company Name with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • This can be done through the SEC’s online verification system, free of charge.
    • Once approved by the SEC, reserving a company name costs about Php 40.00 a month for the first 30 days.
    • Company names can be reserved for a maximum period of 90 days (or three months), for an average fee of Php 120. This can still be renewed upon expiration.
  • Depositing a Paid-up Capital to the Authorized Agent Bank (AAB) in order to obtain a Certificate of Deposit
    • A company is required to deposit a paid-up capital amounting to at least 6.25% of the corporation’s authorized capital stock.
    • This paid-up capital must not be less than Php 5,000.
  • Notarizing the company’s Articles of Incorporation and Treasurer’s Affidavit
    • A company’s articles of incorporation must be notarized in any notary public, before filing with the SEC.
  • Registering a company with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
    • A company can register online, but payment must be done in person.
    • The following documents will be needed, in registering your business:
      • Company name verification slip
      • Notarized articles of incorporation and by-laws
      • Notarized Treasurer’s Affidavit
      • Statement of Assets and Liabilities
      • Certificate of Deposit on the Paid-in Capital
      • Bank authorization to verify the account
      • Company Data Sheet
      • Written and Notarized undertaking to comply with all SEC requirements
      • Written and Notarized undertaking to change company name.
  • Upon registering with the SEC, companies must pay the Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) for the original issuance of shares for domestic corporations or subdsidiaries.
    • The DST must be paid on or before the 5th day of the following month, from the date of the company’s registration with the SEC.
  • Obtaining a Community Tax Certificate (CTC) from the City Treasurer’s Office (CTO)
    • The company is assessed a basic and an additional community tax. The basic community tax rate is dependent on the type of corporation registered, while the additional community tax is pegged on the assessed value of the property a company owns in the Philippines.
  • Obtaining a Barangay Clearance
    • A barangay clearance is required to obtain a business permit from the city or municipality
    • The barangay charges a fee to the company, which is fixed in each barangay. This fee may vary for barangays in the Metro-Manila area.
    • A minimum of Php 500 is charged, with an additional Php 300 for the barangay clearance plate.
  • Obtaining a License to Operate at the Licensing Section of the City Mayor’s Office
    • For businesses setting up operations in the City of Manila, a company must first submit a business transaction form (BTF) containing all of the information for the application, before obtaining a business permit. This document can be obtained at the Manila City Business Center (MCBC).
    • In addition to the BTF, the following documents must also be submitted:
      • Barangay Clearance
      • SEC Registration
      • Occupancy Permit of the Building/Unit Leased
      • Public Liability Insurance (for restaurants, malls, etc.)
      • Authorization Letter from the Owner (with ID)
      • Lease Contract/Tax Declaration
      • Community Tax Certificate

The zoning, engineering, and fire safety departments must also inspect the office space leased by the company. Upon inspection, strict compliance must be observed in complying with the additional requirements that may be imposed by these offices.

  • Registering for Taxes at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR)
    • To register with the BIR, the company must first accomplish BIR form 1903 together with the required documentation and submit it to the Revenue District Office.
    • The newly registered company is required to first pay the Documentary Stamp Tax (DST) on the originally issued shares (for domestic or subsidiary companies), as well as the DST on the lease contract (if the office space used by the company is being leased). The payment for the Documentary Stamp Tax on the originally issued shares for domestic or subsidiary companies is due on the 5th day of the following month from the notarization of the document.
    • An additional requirement for business registration is BIR form 1906 or the authority to print receipts.
    • Companies are assessed through various taxes, including but not limited to a value added tax (VAT), a community tax, a local tax and an income tax.
    • Generally, companies are expected to comply with the periodic reporting and payment of income tax, Value-Added Tax (VAT), Expanded Withholding Tax and Withholding Tax on Compensation. Additional taxes or exemptions to taxes, based on company type, should be properly registered or reported to the BIR.
  • Initial Registration with the Social Security System (SSS)
    • To be considered an employer, the company must have at least (1) employee.
    • An employer is required to register with the SSS, using the employer registration form (R-1), the employment report (R1-A) and the specimen signature card (L-501). The employer is also required to submit an employer registration form (R1) and an employment report (R1-A) to the offices of the Philippine Health Insurance Company.
    • The SSS issues the company an employer number, together with the employer’s copy of a processed BR-1, an employer identification card or an SSS registration plate, and a list of employer obligations and post-registration requirements. The SSS registration plate is a mandatory requirement for registration and companies are required to pay a fee of Php 165.00 for it. The plate is released 6 months after the application and payment.
  • Completing Registration with the SSS and the Philippines Health Insurance Company (PhilHealth)
    • The company must submit the following documents to the SSS within 30 days from the issuance of an employer number:
      • Employment Report (form R-1A)
      • Specimen Signature Card (form L-501)
      • Sketch of Business Address
      • Validated Miscellaneous Payment Return Form (Form R-6)
    • The company must also submit the following documents to PhilHealth:
      • Member registration forms for each employee and the required documentation.
  • Registration with the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or the Pag-Ibig Fund
    • Registration with the HDMF is dependent on the company’s SSS registration. Only employees duly registered with the SSS are qualified to be registered with the HDMF.
    • In registering with the HDMF, the company is required to submit the following documentation:
      • Employer Data Form (EDF)
      • Membership Registration/Remittance Form (form M1-1)
  • Payment of the Initial monthly contribution of the employees, which will serve as a proof of registration for the company.
  • PRC released the Board Passers of the Latest Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination this year

    From abs-cbnNews

    The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced Friday that 3,185 out of 4,762 passed the Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination.

    The examination was given by the Board of Real Estate Service in Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao and Ilo-Ilo last March 2011.

    The results were released in five (5) days after the last of examination, the PRC said.

    Registration for the issuance of Professional Identification Card (ID) and Certificate of Registaration will start on Thursday, April 7, 2011 until April 14, 2011.

    Those who will register are required to bring the following:

    Duly accomplished Oath Form or Panunumpa ng Propesyonal

    • · Current Community Tax Certificate (cedula)
    • · 2 pieces passport size picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
    • · 1 piece 1×1 picture (colored with white background and complete nametag)
    • · 2 sets of metered documentary stamps and,
    • · 1 short brown envelope with name and profession; and to pay the Initial Registration Fee of 600 and Annual Registration Fee of P450 for 2011-2014.

    Succesful examinees should personally register and sign in the Roster of Registered Professionals.

    The oathtaking ceremony of the sucessful examinees in the said examination will be held before the Board on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:00 in the afternoon at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City.

    Tickets for the Oathtaking will be available from April 7, 2011 to April 25, 2011.

    To see the successful examinees who garnered the 10 highest rank, CLICK HERE!

    CLICK HERE to View the Full List of Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination Passers.

    From abs-cbnNEWS

    Zuellig Building: A green footprint for Makati’s Commercial Real Estate Market

    BY: YVES DE-LUIS

    In 2009, Bridgebury Realty Corp, an affiliate of the Zuellig Group, announced that it will be investing 7 billion Peso for the construction of the Zuellig Building.

    Zuellig Building - Makati, Philippines

    Zuellig Building - Makati, Philippines

    The Zuellig Building, to be completed by Q1 2012, is located in the Makati Central Business District, at Makati Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas, on a lot area of 8,285 square meters. The 33 storey structure is a premium, commercial, single-owner office building, with 55,000 square meters up for lease to multi-tenants as well as lease of PEZA office space.

    Interestingly, the Zuellig Building will be the first ever Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) pre-certified Gold building in the Philippines.  LEED is an “… internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built, using strategies aimed at improving performance across energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts…”  The LEED certification is meaningful given the increasing awareness and support to “green” efforts and saving the planet. From a business standpoint, the building promises operational savings on utilities (up to 40%) for tenants locating to the Zuellig Building.

    Following the global financial crisis of 2008, the Metro Manila office real estate market is starting to stabilize and is now slowly recovering.  Demand for Prime and Grade A office space is expected to pick up in the near term, coming from the positive business sentiment towards the new Aquino administration. According to Michael McCullough, Director of Manila real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, “We have observed an increasing demand in premium office space in Makati, starting late 2010 until now. Therefore, we think the Zuellig Building has been perfectly timed to enter the commercial real estate market in Makati and the Philippines.” – (View KMC MAG Group Office Trends Report for the first quarter of 2011)

    First pre-certified Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building in the Philippines

    Upon completion in 2012, the Zuellig Building will be the only new Prime building in the Makati Central Business District. For perspective, by 2012, the other Prime buildings will be significantly older:  Ayala Tower One would be 16 years, Philam Life Tower and the Enterprise Center would be 13 years, and RCBC Plaza would be 11 years.  Given that a high-rise would take about three years to complete, no other new Prime buildings are expected by 2012.

    Successful Foreign National Entrepreneurs in the Philippines Under 40

    By: Jahzeel Abihail G. Cruz

    The recipe for running a successful enterprise doesn’t necessarily include membership in a related high school club or being voted “Most Likely to Succeed”. What it does include, though, is an expertise in something of personal interest and balance between risk-taking and business sense. And the earlier these factors converge in life, the better. Having enjoyed the perks of being their own bosses before the middle age of 40, these expat entrepreneurs would know.

    Teaming with Talent

    Mr. Gregory Kittelson

    Mr. Gregory Kittelson

    It may not been much for Gregory Kittelson looking back, but dreams of putting up his own Mexican restaurant and a nightclub in his native Rhode Island in the US now seem providential. Self-made at 37, and a foreign country to boot, Greg is co-founder of two Philippine-based companies: Kittelson & Carpo Consulting and the KMC MAG Group real estate brokerage firm.

    “It’s really the people that make the Philippines attractive [for business],” he stresses. He found himself in the country seven years ago, assisting in managing a software outsourcing company, and had prior sales and business development work experience in San Francisco. With these and the burgeoning business process outsourcing (BPO) industry here, Greg found himself at the right place at the right time.

    Finding the right people was the clincher, and for that, the Philippines were a gold mine. He first partnered with friend and seasoned corporate tax lawyer Amanda Carpo to put up Kittelson and Carpo Consulting three years ago. Today the consulting firm is a thriving team of lawyers, recruiters and accountants, which has provided business set-up services for some 200 foreign companies to date.

    It was sister company KMC MAG Group that was more a child traditional business school principles. When Greg and his partner saw an evolution in their clients’ needs to include securing leased office space, they jumped at the opportunity to address the high demand and secure the niche.

    It’s not all business for Greg, though. “Your overall focus has to be on your business, but it’s important to have social outlets,” says this health buff. How he has time for travelling, boxing, muay Thai, and dancing the salsa and meringue are bewildering, but he insists it’s a matter of balancing these with company concerns.

    When called for, however, Greg puts his astute business mind to work by collaborating with people in his workplace. As if to reiterate the importance of skilled personnel, he doles out praise for the team s he has assembled here in the Philippines. “I have a very talented local team that can interface and execute for our clients, and that’s something we’re very proud of,” he says.

    Self-Teaching through Experience

    Mr. Michael McCullough

    Mr. Michael McCullough

    “According to a poll by the HR, I’m relaxed and easy to approach, and talk to,” says Michael McCullough, which may not come as surprise after finding out he hails from Southern California in the US. But don’t be fooled by his approach to management: At 28, he co-manages the KMC MAG Group, a company he launched with Kittelson and Carpo Consulting’s Greg.

    Michael initially started out as an IT Consultant for Greg’s consulting firm, a position he held after stints in Silicon Valley and the Cambria Corporation, a custom software development firm. The latter brought him to the Philippines in 2007 to open a subsidiary company, and it’s felt like home here for him ever since.

    That’s not to say that success came effortlessly for him. “We were never taken seriously by a lot of landlords at first, so establish a name is kind difficult here,” recalls Michael. But in its 13 months of operation, KMC MAG went from unsure to unperturbed, closing several significant accounts and establishing itself as a real estate player to stay.

    The company prides itself in providing immediate solutions, usually for the brisk BPO industry, creating a niche in a country where red tape can be frustrating, Michael says. Triumphs such as providing large-scale serviced office for two clients on a floor of coveted Ayala Avenue building space (“I think we’re one of the first companies to do something like this on a large scale, specially at the price point,” he notes) have sincere created deserved buzz among industry higher ups.

    Nonchalant about his achievements for his age, Michael looks at his business a continuing education. Incidentally, he chose entrepreneurship over graduate school, opting to experience learning rather that paying for it. “All of our clients are very seasoned CEO’s, so when they come to our office, I do nothing but listen and try to learn from them,” he says.

    KMC MAG has since branched out to offer more solutions for its clients, from staff leasing to condominium brokerage. And Michael is living it up in the Philippines, unleashing the water lover in him on weekend getaways. “ I feel like is the 51st state of the US. I feel comfortable here.

    Attuned to Business Weather

    Mr. Sebastien Caudron

    Mr. Sebastien Caudron

    Browse the online materials of some of the most ubiquitous names in business here, and not a few will be the handiwork of NetBooster Asia. This online advertising and marketing agency’s successes were not without constant fine-tuning, however. For his part, company president Sebastien Caudron believes,” [Business] is evolving. You just follow trends and follow what’s working.

    NetBooster Asia’s history owes a revisit to one of its predecessors: Yellowasp. Sebastien’s first venture in the Philippines in 2000, Yellowasp is a software services company offering offshore development services. Noticing that web services were increasingly becoming professionalized, Yellowasp eventually began re-branding as a web services provider.

    Partnering with French web solutions group NetBooster around three years ago marked yet another shift, this time the creation of a full blown online agency offering creative services and online marketing solutions to companies across Asia. Sebastien shares, “Instead of trying to sell them a website or traffic, we went to very basic commercial talk to make them realize that internet has big potential for them.”

    It helps that the Frenchman himself is young; at 36, he’s in touch with a generation that is internet-savvy. As for where he’d eventually set up business, Asia was always on his radar; a joint-venture project in the 1990’s in Manila sealed the deal, and he stayed ever since. The Philippines, with its large, young and English-literate population, provided both the ideal labor pool and target market for NetBooster Asia.

    Sebastian started his first company here at the age of 25, and ten years into the business, he says he’s happy he started early. “If you’ve experienced the comfort and low stress of getting monthly salary, I think it’s difficult to accept the risk of not earning as much on regular basis,” he reasons. Still he notes some changes in perspective that come with experience: “You realize that the independence of an entrepreneur is also not real, because you have to report your clients.”

    NetBooster Asia, with Sebastien at the helm, now looks to be the agency of choice for clients that aim to advertise regionally. “The idea is to be the first and largest digital agency network in Southeast Asia. We want to create value by offering a network,” so his forecast goes.

    Taking the Leap

    It helps for the enterprising hopeful to be well-educated: Greg studied in Mexico and Spain, Michael in Denmark and Sebastien in Scotland. But also like these three, the successful entrepreneur is ultimately the risk taker. Once the plunge is taken, however, there is so much to do to avoid a free fall. “Then it comes down to focus on your business,” Greg advices those setting up business on soil foreign to them.

    “Trust your instinct, make sure you have enough investment, trust top people and include them in the business so they follow you and stick to you,” adds Sebastien. And if all goes well, dividends will not only be in the form of finances, but fulfillment as well. Michael would know: “I remember receiving my very first commission of Php 100,000, and it’s an indescribable feeling.

    Real estate industry rides on boom in BPO sector

    Vacancy rates on the decline

    from Philippine Daily Inquirer

    By Abigail L. Ho

    The real estate sector continues to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in the business process outsourcing sector, as vacancy rates drop and the need to construct more office, and even residential, spaces increases.

    In an interview with the Inquirer, David Young, managing director of real estate services provider Colliers International in the Philippines, said the BPO sector’s aim to add another 500,000 to its employee base over the next five years translated to the need to build close to 3 million square meters of office space.

    “This industry, on its own, can fill up all office space in Ortigas. Real estate developers have a lot to thank this industry for, as it has spurred not just commercial development but residential development as well. BPO employees are either getting their own or leasing condo units,” he said.

    He said the surge in the number of BPO employees, many of whom had to work outside their hometowns, had given rise to the establishment of condominium buildings with studio and one-bedroom units that are well suited to these individuals.

    Mall developers have also cashed in on the BPO trend, he said, by constructing buildings with more floors and leasing the top stories to BPO companies.

    Developers of office spaces reaped the most benefit from the surge in BPO activities, as opportunities opened for them to move into suburban areas and the province, away from the already crowded Makati and Ortigas business districts, he said.

    “Makati and Ortigas are not really suited for BPO operations. Also, the vacancy rate in Makati is down to just 4 percent and in Ortigas to only 6 percent, with no more room to grow. The movement is toward suburban areas like Eastwood and the (University of the Philippines-Ayala Land TechnoHub), as well as to the Fort (in Taguig),” he said.

    Rates have also started to pick up. He related that office space in Makati would cost around P750 per square meter for prime buildings such as 6750, RCBC and Ayala Tower One. The rate is P100 per square meter cheaper in Ortigas at P650 for buildings such as Wynsum and Orient Square. In Alabang, Eastwood, and UP, lease rates range from P400 to P500 a square meter.

    As vacancies go down and rates go up, Gregory Kittelson, chairman of real estate brokerage firm KMC MAG Group, advised BPO firms, particularly start-ups and small and medium operators, to try the serviced offices approach.

    Managing Director and Business Consultant of KMC MAG GROUP

    Chairman of KMC MAG GROUP

    “Developers are building large offices to be leased to large companies, but some companies are also looking for small spaces, especially when they’re starting out,” he said in a separate interview. “There’s a massive need for serviced offices that can serve as incubation spaces for start-ups or as temporary offices for expanding small and medium BPO firms. These serviced offices can cater to operations with 5-100 seats.”

    He said KMC MAG Group last year assisted more than 100 companies in setting up shop here using the serviced offices approach. Around 50-60 percent of these companies were from the BPO sector.

    “There are not enough temporary office spaces now. All we have are big offices. This is an opportunity for developers as well,” he said.

    KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

    KMC MAG GROUP Commercial Real Estate & Property Broker

    KMC MAG Group is the fastest growing commercial and residential real estate brokerage company in the Philippines.  Founded and managed by two Americans and a Philippine corporate lawyer, KMC provides brokerage services for commercial office space, serviced office, seat rentals, and residential properties.

    KMC also operates its own serviced offices, incubation and seat leasing facilities on Ayala Ave in Makati and Fort Bonifacio

    to see the page follow this link Philippine Daily Inquirer

    Call Center Industry Flourishes in Cebu

    As the local BPO industry continues to grow, the Philippines is on the fast track to becoming one of the  prime outsourcing destinations in the world. Next to Metro Manila, Cebu City is considered as one of the most important BPO destinations in the country. As more and more investors flock to the city, the “Queen of the South” is fast becoming the largest call center hub in the Visayas region.

    Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest growing industries in Cebu City. Because of the low cost of labor, more and more foreign and local companies are now setting up operations in the city. There are already a number of call centers in the area, and more are still on the way. Some of the large Metro Manila based call centers have already set up a second or “provincial center” in Cebu.  Even a few small and medium BPOs have bypassed Metro Manila entirely and gone straight to Cebu.  Coupled with an exceptionally skilled workforce and a lower cost of living, it’s no mystery that the Philippine BPO industry is alive and well in Cebu City.

    The ability of most Cebuanos to understand and communicate in fluent English is also an important advantage in the city’s outsourcing industry. As English is considered the lingua franca of the call center industry, a rudimentary knowledge of the language is essential in fields like customer service and telemarketing.

    The average salary of a call center agent in Cebu is between Php 13,000 and Php 15,000 per month, while the salaries of Manila-based agents range from Php 15,000 to Php 18,000. This is primarily because Manila is a Central Business District (CBD) and boasts a more competitive workforce than in Cebu. However, employee attrition rates are lower in Cebu, indicating higher job satisfaction among call center agents in the area.

    In terms of operational costs, setting up business in Cebu is cheaper than in Manila. Rental rates are 31% lower in Cebu, commercial office space going for as little as Php 250 per square meter. The average rental rate for commercial office space in Manila is Php 800 per square meter.  Electricity and other utility expenses are also 40% cheaper in Cebu, electrical expenses costing as little as Php 4,000 per month for smaller-scale businesses.

    According to Gregory Kittelson, Outsourcing Consultant of Makati-based Kittelson and Carpo Consulting, “The growing number of foreign investors is a strong indication that Cebu City is fast becoming an important BPO center in the country. More and more foreign companies are now tapping into the local workforce, injecting large amounts of capital into the economy. I believe that this bodes well for the future of Cebu City’s outsourcing industry.”

    The growing BPO industry has also created a number of job opportunities for Cebuanos, providing solid employment for the local workforce . This, in turn, has further boosted the local economy. A recent study by the Department of Trade and Industry puts the GDP growth at 4.5% in 2008. Experts are also expecting a steady increase in employment for the second quarter of 2010.

    Although call centers in Manila work at a faster pace and are considered more professional, Cebu is still considered the #1 provincial destination for foreign multinationals and BPOs. And As the local outsourcing industry continues to grow, Cebu City will continue to establish itself as one of the prime outsourcing destinations in the Philippines.

    BPO Watch: Philippine Outsourcing Industry Soars to New Heights

    By Kathleen Yu

    Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is one of the fastest growing industries in the Philippines today. Since it’s advent, the industry has experienced a steady growth in annual revenue, boasting a 23% increase in 2009 alone. To date, the Philippines covers about 21% of the global BPO market, and is considered a prime outsourcing destination in Southeast Asia.

    Foreign investors have expressed a growing interest in the Philippine BPO market, projecting a steady increase in the country’s annual revenues. The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) expects a 26% increase in annual revenue for the year 2010, totaling to about 8.5 billion USD. A projected increase of 27% is also expected for 2011, bringing the estimated income to 10.7 billion USD. As the Philippine BPO Industry continues to expand, more and more foreign companies are now outsourcing operations to the country, creating job opportunities for the Philippine workforce.

    This has translated to 74,000 new jobs in the year 2008 alone. The BPAP estimates that at least 435,000 individuals are currently employed in the country’s BPO industry; 61% in contact centers, 18.5% in back office KPOs, 9.5% in IT Software Development and Maintenance, 5.4% in Engineering, 3.2% in Transcription, and 2.2% in Animation. However, the numbers are still expected to rise in the coming years, as more and more foreign companies set-up business in the Philippines.

    The Philippines is the third largest BPO location in the world, next to India and Canada. Considered as a top Offshore BPO destination, the country boasts one of the fastest growing outsourcing industries in the world. The Philippine BPO sector has grown at an annual rate of 46% since the year 2006. According to the BPAP projection, the Philippines is expected to earn between 8-11 billion USD by the year 2010. Several prominent companies have already outsourced operations in the country, among these are computer giants Dell and IBM, HSBC, Convergys, Teletech and Accenture.

    According to BPO Consultant Gregory Kittelson of Kittelson & Carpo Consulting, “The Philippines is on its way to overtaking India as a global BPO provider. More and more companies are now taking advantage of the country’s educated workforce and American accent, low start-up costs, tax-free holidays and easily available infrastructure to set up offices here in the Philippines. The future of the country’s BPO industry has never looked brighter.”