THE Century Pacific Group of the Po family-led ArthaLand is seen to help boost Cebu’s economy in the next five to six years as it builds its first green office project in the Visayas and Mindanao region, Cebu Exchange.
The information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) designed Cebu Exchange, to rise along Salinas Drive, is seen to accommodate at least 13,000 seats which translates to about 40,000 business process outsourcing (BPO) agents for three-shift operations.
The numbers mean an estimated annual income of Php 7.2B for Cebuanos and the rest of VisMin who will be directly employed by companies that will choose to locate in the Grade-A building. This does not include the thousands of jobs to be generated while the Php 8B project is being constructed at the Cebu IT Park area.
According to Frost & Sullivan, there is an additional three or four jobs that are generated for every direct job in the information technology and business process management industry.
Cebu Exchange is set to rise along a major thoroughfare and is easily accessible to key destinations such as the Cebu Business Park, the Mactan – Cebu International Airport, and neighboring cities and municipalities. Location is a major factor considered by major locators as well as potential workforce.
In its roadmap 2022, the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) eyes to employ 1.8M Filipinos and earn as much USD 38B by the end of the period.
According to the association, the Philippine IT-BPM sector is set to grow from 12.6% global market share in 2016 to 15.5% by 2022. This is achievable as long as the country provides BPO-friendly conditions such as upgrading of the talent ecosystem, enhancing competitive incentives and regulations, developing infrastructure in next wave cities and sustaining high business confidence, among others.
To further achieve these targets, IBPAP also sees the expansion of the industry outside Metro Manila as a big boost. Cebu City is among the top choice of large BPO companies to locate after the National Capital Region.
Tholons identified Cebu as among the top 10 preferred destination of BPO companies in the world.
According to the Cebu Investment Promotions Center, Cebu is highly competitive due to several solid factors. It has a well-developed international air and sea ports and is on its way to develop more infrastructure. Cebu has quality labor force produced by over 400 secondary schools, over 30 colleges, and 11 universities, churning an average of 23,000 college graduates annually.
Another advantage is Cebu’s overall cost of living which is 30% less than that in Metro Manila. FDI Magazine cited Cebu as one of Asia’s Cities of the Future.
Greening the landscape
For its part, ArthaLand sees to change Cebu City’s property landscape by introducing the first and only Grade-A office development in Visayas and Mindanao to be on target to achieve dual green building certification.
Cebu Exchange aims to achieve certification from the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the Philippine Green Building Council’s Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) programs.
Industry experts and analysts believe that multinational players prefer to locate in certified green buildings due to cost savings from resource efficiency. According to the World Green Building Council, ecologically friendly buildings also promote greater earnings due to employee productivity, high morale, and creativity.
Apart from BPOs, Cebu Exchange is also designed to accommodate traditional offices for home-grown enterprises and allied services. Four floors in the building will be dedicated to retail spaces to serve the needs of its tenants and the community.
ArthaLand is a boutique developer of sustainable, world class projects. It rests on a solid backing by CPG Holdings, Inc. (CPGHI), its biggest shareholder. CPHGI is led by the Po family of the Century Pacific Food Inc., the country’s largest canned food company which owns market leader brands such as Century Tuna, 555, and Argentina, among others. ArthaLand’s other major shareholder is international investment firm, AO Capital Group.
ArthaLand’s other projects include top-end LEED Gold certified residential condominium, Arya Residences, as well as LEED Gold pre-certified premium office building, ArthaLand Century Pacific Tower. These projects are both located in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.