By KRIS M. CRISMUNDO, PNA
LONG-term prospects for Mindanao remain strong as information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies will continue to explore the southern part of the Philippines despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
“Demand (is seen) to continue in the IT-BPO sector despite what’s happening in Mindanao. So, it’s business as usual,” Rick Santos, Chairman and CEO of Santos Knight Frank, formerly CBRE Philippines, said in a press conference Thursday.
He added that the business sector is looking at the declaration of martial law in Mindanao as a practical and short-term solution to address lawlessness in the region.
“With regards to martial law, it’s a temporary measure to take care of some of the lawlessness,” Santos noted.
Earlier this week, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez stressed that martial law will not harm economic activities in Mindanao.
“The fighting itself imposed concern but not the martial law,” the government official said.
Moreover, Santos Frank Knight said IT-BPO companies are aggressive in expanding outside Metro Manila, particularly into markets of Cebu and Davao.
“Overall, office market expected to remain healthy as the outsourcing industry continues to grow,” said Santos.
“The country remains as the most attractive inbound investment destination in the region for IT-BPO companies which are eager to capitalize on the country’s favorable demographics, strong dollar, competitive labor cost and continuous infrastructure development,” he added.
It was noted that provinces stand to benefit from the country’s attractiveness for IT-BPO sector, as more foreign firms are eyeing to invest in the Philippines.
“Investments are expected to come from Qatar, Mexico, Israel, United Kingdom, Canada, and China,” Santos added.
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