Next Wave Cities is a Philippine-specific term that identifies ICT hubs beyond Manila, based on criteria such as worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors necessary to sustain a local BPO industry.

Philippine IT-BPO and the Big Picture

In 2010, the Philippines became the world’s largest exporter of voice-driven BPO, edging out India as the global call center hub, according to the Everest Group (Everest). In non-voice BPO, involving back-office services and complex business services, the Philippines is a strong second to India with over 200,000 employees providing global sourcing services to the world.

Much of the Philippines’ success in attracting global demand has to do with a handful of positive factors: a large talent pool, world-class telecommunications infrastructure, a business-friendly regulatory environment, and low costs. These core attributes are complemented by soft factors that add value as an IT-BPO destination. For example, the Philippines is generally considered to be among the four countries having the most number of English speakers in the world and, because English is used as a medium of instruction in academic institutions, the proportion of professionals and fresh graduates who speak fluent English is a high 70 percent or more.

Another important factor that locators and outsourcers find to be fairly unique to the Philippines among developing countries is a strong affinity with Western culture. Whether through voice or non-voice services—such as customer relations management, finance and accounting, human resource management, IT, marketing, research, analytics, health care information management, and creative services—the ability of Filipinos to relate to the Western psyche allows for more responsive customer relationships, greater efficiency and effectiveness, and higher quality output.

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As of 2012, four major hubs emerged for IT-BPM services: Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Clark, and Bacolod City. The top-ten NWCs for 2012 in alphabetical order:  Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan (Baliuag, Calumpit, Malolos City, Marilao, and Meycauayan City), Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Dasmariñas City, and Imus City), Metro Laguna (Calamba City, Los Baños, and Sta. Rosa City), Metro Naga (Naga City and Pili), and Metro Rizal (Antipolo City, Cainta, and Taytay).