Manila is the political, educational and commercial capital of the Philippines.
The city which is also often referred to as Metro Manila is a pulsating metropolis
which is made of several smaller cities like Makati, Passay, Quezon, Caloocan and
Pasig. Manila which was founded in 1571 by the Spanish Conquistadors has a rich
history associated with it and the evidence of its Spanish rule is present until
today in the form of a walled enclave called the Intramuros, which is the original
Spanish settlement of Manila that is located on the southern bank of the Passig
Manila suffered considerably during the years of the Second World War and it was
rebuilt after the war with much US aid. Today this bustling urban center is home
to approximately 11 million people (20 million if you include its suburbs) and like
other cities in the developing world it is a city of great contrasts where huge
mansions coexist with squatter slums. However in spite of these glaring contrasts
and inequalities, Manila today features prominently as a global outsourcing and
business processing hub.
In 2006, the Philippines which has the third largest English-speaking population
in the world raked in revenues of $2.1 billion from its outsourcing industry as
it was ranked third behind India and China in a global outsourcing survey. It is
estimated that the BPO (business process outsourcing) business in the Philippines
will earn as much as US$11 billion in 2010 as it will employ more than 900,000 people.
This BPO boom in the Philippines is currently being led by the demand for offshore
call centers by western companies who are looking to cut costs.
Wages in the Philippines are typically less than a fifth of that in the US and local
communication, electricity and housing costs are also 50% lower in the Philippines
when compared to US. Foreign companies who currently outsource their business to
the Philippines estimate that they will reap substantial savings in the form of
30 to 40% business cost savings, 15 to 30% call center service savings and 35 to
50% application systems and software development savings. Manila is at the heart
of the outsourcing business in the Philippines as it conducts much of this business
in its two main business hubs of Makati and Ortigas and its call center hub in Quezon
However the recent growth spurt in the outsourcing industry in the Philippines has
not been fueled by the traditional low value added call centers but more high end
outsourcing services like legal services, medical transcription, software development,
finance and accounting, shared services and web design and animation. These services
require educated and skilled labor which country seems to have in abundance. The
Philippine government has also done its part in promoting this outsourcing industry
as it has offered several fiscal and non fiscal incentives to attract foreign direct
investment in this industry.
As result of all these factors, many large and small companies now outsource some
or all of their business processes to the Philippines whose labor quality ranked
is fourth among all the Asian nations according to a survey conducted by the U.S.
based Meta Group. The capital city of Manila which is extremely expatriate friendly
is the epicenter of the outsourcing business of the Philippines as it offers state-of-the-art
telecommunications facilities as well as adequate and uninterrupted power supply
and abundant ready-to-occupy office and production facilities, computer security
and building monitoring systems all which have been established in its specialized
economic zones which have been especially setup to facilitate this booming BPO business.
If your company like many other US companies has set up or is in the process of
setting up an outsourcing center in Manila which will require much expensive business
travel to and from Manila, you might want to consider using the excellent and cost
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Traveling to Manila from the US can be a complicated affair which often involves
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