Plans are afoot to enlarge the 24-hectare Cebu Information Technology (IT) Park, a bustling economic zone that hosts some of the world?s largest business process outsourcing (BPO) providers and the back offices of multinational corporations.
?We are all for the project. It will surely draw in new investors and create fresh employment opportunities for the more than 23,000 college graduates that Cebu produces every year,? said Cebu representative Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr., vice chairman of the House committee on higher and technical education.
Gullas was responding to the request of Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC), the developer and operator of the IT park, for the City Council of Cebu to endorse the proposed P8-billion, two-hectare superblock.
The city government?s approval is required for the expansion project to be accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The superblock will include two new BPO office towers; a 500-store, three-level Ayala mall; and a 12-level, 214-room Seda Hotel.
?Whatever value is added to the IT park is also value added to Cebu as well as the provincial government?s passive investment in CPVDC,? Gullas pointed out.
The provincial government owns 8.28 percent of CPVDC. The province?s 77,865,406 shares in CPVCD, at P6.50 apiece, is now worth P506 million, according to Gullas.
He also said that from 1996 to 2014, the provincial government received a total of P100.9 million in cash dividends from CPVDC, a Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)-listed entity.
Cebu Holdings Inc. (CHI) owns 76.26 percent of CPVDC, and Ayala Land Inc. (ALI), another 7.80 percent. CHI is in turn 49.80 percent-owned by ALI. CHI is the developer and operator of the nearby 50-hectare Cebu Business Park.
PSE filings show that CPVDC posted a net income of P150.2-million on gross revenues of P550.73 million in 2014.
The company generates revenues from the lease of office and commercial spaces as well as real estate sales, mostly of residential condominium units.
Gullas boldly predicted that the provincial government?s investment in CPVDC ?could possibly be worth billions of pesos years from now, as land and property values grow.?
?We need bigger IT parks and high-tech office spaces to further build up Cebu as a global outsourcing hub,? Gullas said.
A leading US-based services globalization and investment advisory firm, Tholons, previously rated Cebu as the world?s eight-best outsourcing destination, after Bangalore, Metro Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.
?Cebu has the huge potential to rapidly grow as an outsourcing superstar. Our biggest asset is our ample supply of young professionals and fluent English-speaking college graduates,? Gullas said.