Manila is the capital and largest city in the Philippines, numbering over 12,000,000 people. In fact, most people who know anything about Manila correctly characterize it as ‘overpopulated.’
The single biggest reason for that overpopulation is the same as in cities anywhere else in the world…opportunity seekers. Talented Filipinos come to Manila because that’s where they perceive the most opportunity is. And it’s a fact, the single biggest opportunity for the masses of well-educated Filipinos in the country right now is the call center industry and Manila has become the call center capital of the world.
If you’re one of the growing numbers of business decision makers looking at utilizing a call center in the Philippines as a means of lowering a significant part of your cost of operations, it might be valuable for you to have an idea of the layout of Manila and exactly where these call centers are located.
The call center business in the Philippines got started first in Manila around the year 2000. In discussing that point, it’s important to also remember that the call center business evolved from the IT (Information Technology) services business which preceded it. The first call centers in the Philippines were located in the Makati area of Manila.
The call center industry, and its umbrella BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industry, is a source of great pride to Filipinos and the Philippines government. If you take into account even the smallest call centers you’ll find over 600 call centers in the Manila area alone.
In the area outside of Manila, often just referred to as ‘the provinces,’ you’ll find another 200+ call centers of various sizes.
The vast majority of these Philippines provincial call centers, as one might expect, are rather small and of no comparison to the largest Manila call centers. Some of the larger centers in Manila house over 1500 agents working in one facility simultaneously.
If you’re coming to the Philippines to look at call centers, you can definitely see the most and best call centers in the Manila area. But what are those areas?
In order of approximate importance, they are:
Makati 274 centers
Ortigas 141 centers
Mandaluyong 32 centers
Manila (i.e. “Old” Manila) 38 centers
Eastwood 30 centers
Taugig 32 centers
Pasig 27 centers
Mantinlupa 32 centers
An important fact to understand about the distribution of call center business throughout Manila is that it started in the Makati area and spread from there due to local market factors such as the value of real estate and the availability of infrastructure and labor.
The current ‘hottest’ are for building new call centers is the Bonifacio area, actually a sub-area of the Taguig City. For any of these areas however, premium class hotel accommodations are available in the area. Most visitors stay in either the Makati or Ortigas area and move around the city from there.
Manila (and the Philippines) is fast becoming known as a hidden gem for tourists too. Manila is a city of many contrasts but perhaps what tourists find most appealing about it is that virtually everyone speaks English and the people are very friendly. It’s definitely a city where businessmen and women enjoy visiting to see how thing are going in their call center.