Robinsons Land to put up P500-M cyberzone bldg in Mandaluyong
- Zinnia B. Dela Peña () - October 17, 2005 - 12:00am
Buoyed by the strong demand for office spaces from business process outsourcing firms, Robinsons Land Corp. is putting up its second cyberzone building in Pioneer, Mandaluyong City, estimated to cost more than P500 million.

RLC general manager Danilo Ignacio said the move to construct a new cyberzone building was encouraged by the success of the 27-story Cybergate Tower I which is part of a mixed-use development project that includes the Robinsons Pioneer Place Mall, and residential condominiums like One Gateway Place, Gateway Garden Ridge and Gateway Garden Heights.

"Inspired by the success of Tower I and interest expressed by global outsourcers for lease space, Robinsons looks forward in developing newer projects to serve future locators needs," Ignacio said.

Ignacio said the new cyberbuilding will have 28 stories with a total leasable area of 43,000 square meters. The project is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2006.

Big foreign firms have already signified their interest to lease several floors in the new building, which is accessible to public transport such as the Metro Rail Transit and buses due to its proximity to the EDSA thoroughfare.

"We have already received a lot of inquiries from a number of the world’s leading outsourcers and like its predecessor, we are confident that Tower 2 will be substantially pre-leased before its completion," Ignacio said.

Ignacio said the company is bullish on the booming call center industry especially with the anticipated shortage of office space in the next two years.

In view of this, Ignacio said RLC is considering building three more office buildings to cater to the needs of outsourcing firms. He, however, stressed that the construction of additional buildings would depend on how fast the company can pre-lease Tower 2.

Call-center operations are the fastest-growing segment of the business-process outsourcing industry and a major source of job growth in the Philippines.

Over the past four years, the call center industry has managed to bring in approximately 30,000 seats into the country, creating thousands of jobs for the Filipino workforce. From only three players in 2000, the sector has grown to approximately 60 call centers today, which include the industry’s biggest operators such as Ambergris Solutions, APAC, and Convergys.

According to a report by BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities Inc., the outsourcing business is projected to contribute 6.5 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) by 2010 or at par with the impact of the telecommunications and transport sectors combined.

BNP Paribas said outsourcing in general is expected to turn into a $200-billion global industry by 2010.

For the Philippines, this would translate into a 20-fold increase in revenues from around $500 million in 2004 to $10 billion, assuming the country is able to capture its target market share of five percent, BNP Paribas said.

Competition in the global outsourcing business, however, is heating up with India still leading the business and China (with its cheap labor advantage) emerging as a major player.

But BNP Paribas said the Philippines would "hold its own against the competition, in view of its large pool of English-speaking college graduates preferred by American companies."

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