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List of 'next wave' cities for outsourcing firms released

The Department of Science and Technology and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) tagged more cities as part of the Top 10 Next Wave Cities for business process outsourcing firms. The "next wave cities"—rising investment areas for business process outsourcing (BPO) firms—now include Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan, Metro Cavite, Metro Laguna, Metro Naga and Metro Rizal. Bacolod City was also named a Center of Excellence, joining Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Clark. Metro Bulacan is composed of Baliuag, Calumpit, Malolos City, Marilao and Meycauayan City. Metro Cavite includes Bacoor City, Dasmarinas City, Cavite City and Imus City while Metro Laguna has Cabuyao City, Calamba City, Los Banos, Sta. Rosa City and San Pablo City. Metro Naga is composed of Naga City and Pili, while Metro Rizal is Antipolo City, Binangonan, Cainta and Taytay. Last year’s list included Davao, Bacolod, Sta. Rosa City, Iloilo City, Metro Cavite, Lipa City, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos City, Baguio City and Dumaguete City. “What we are looking for when awarding the next wave cities are areas which are able to spur development and create an ecosystem where innovation can happen and nurture start-ups,” said DOST's information and communications technology office executive director Monchito Ibrahim in a press conference. The ten cities considered for the list, who were scored based on talent, infrastructure, cost and business environment, do not get any incentives from the government but are given priority marketing to investors. The group also named four cities—Batangas City, Cagayan de Oro City, Dagupan City and Tagbilaran City—as emerging locations. Meanwhile, IBPAP senior executive Gillian Joyce Virata stressed the importance of the announcement of the next wave cities as many investors are now looking to move out of Metro Manila to cut costs. “The strong peso definitely has an effect. To mitigate costs some firms are looking to go outside of Metro Manila or are postponing expansion,” Virata said. On the other hand, IBPAP president Jose Mari Mercado said the industry “can still handle the peso at P41 to a dollar.” The peso closed yesterday at P41.185 to a dollar compared to its year start close of P40.86 to a dollar. — Amanda Fernandez/BM, GMA News