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Opportunities Beyond Metro Manila: Is It Wise to Establish a Business Outside the Metro?

It doesn’t take genius to see that Metro Manila is over-saturating. The monstrous daily traffic, excessive flooding, and long lines at public transport hubs are just a few indicators that the Philippines’ capital region is overflowing with people and activities, beyond what it’s probably capable of hosting.

Many industry leaders have recognized this, and have begun to make the move out of Metro Manila as early as a few years ago. Some of the biggest advocates of this change are BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and other IT-based businesses, which have also been encouraged by government incentives offered in various areas outside of Metro Manila.

In 2015, the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines assessed 42 locations across the country to identify locations which could serve as the next IT and BPO hubs after Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. Factoring skills availability, infrastructure, sound business environment and cost competitiveness, the association listed the following areas as the “next wave” of IT business locations:

  • Baguio

  • Cagayan de Oro

  • Dagupan

  • Dasmariñas, Cavite

  • Dumaguete

  • Lipa

  • Malolos

  • Naga

  • Santa Rosa, Laguna

  • Taytay, Rizal

Meanwhile, BPO and IT investments have also been flowing into provinces like Pampanga, Bacolod, Iloilo, Davao and Zamboanga.

Residential developments outside Metro Manila

It is not only the business sector that has been setting their sights outside of Metro Manila. Real estate, too, has been growing at a fast rate outside the capital region. The country’s biggest developers, including Ayala Land, Megaworld, Federal Land, Sta. Lucia Land and Vista Land, have been undertaking major residential and multi-use developments in the entire north to south span of the country. These massive projects feature not just housing but retail, entertainment and business complexes as well.

All these are in consonance with government’s goals of spreading economic opportunities beyond Metro Manila, with the aim of decongesting the capital in the long run.

Why establish a business outside the Metro

Businesses which have been thriving outside Metro Manila cite the following benefits:

  1. Lower attrition – with less traffic and commuting stress in the provinces, employees achieve better work-life balance and are happier with their jobs

  2. Tapping into available skills and talents outside of Metro Manila

  3. Less competition for clients, customers and resources

  4. Relatively lower costs of doing business

Choosing a location

In choosing to relocate or expand your business outside the Metro, you need to consider the following:

  • The area’s economic stability and sustainability – check existing and developing infrastructures, quality of available manpower, costs of doing business and level of government support. PEZA Ecozones, with their numerous incentives, have immediate advantage.

  • Convenience – check available transportation and accessibility of the location. Convenience and accessibility are particular important to companies engaged in retail, hospitality, recreation and similar businesses.

  • Infrastructure – PEZA Ecozones offer excellent infrastructure for various industries, particularly IT-related ventures. Outside these economic zones, you must make sure available buildings and facilities are a good match to your business needs, or that the area makes the building of appropriate infrastructure feasible and easy

How we can help

Part of the services we offer is finding, assessing and recommending locations where your business can thrive, including Ecozones. We can also help you in fulfilling all the needed qualification and compliance requirements in an Ecozone, if this is the best choice for you.