Economic stimulus comes with opening of APAC in Leyte
Tacloban City (March 1) -- Leyte, the site of all the regional offices, and Region 8 for that matter, are teeming with bountiful wonders of nature. The gateway to Mindanao and to Luzon, the economy of Leyte and Eastern Visayas is still reliant on agriculture and the poverty incidence remains relatively high.
This year 2009, economic stimulus comes with the opening of the new facility of APAC Customer Services, Inc. (APAC), in Leyte.
APAC, a global leader in integrated customer care and acquisition services, is set to open its Fouth Philippine facility in the province of Leyte, on March 2, 2009. The opening of the new site is part of an aggressive five-year expansion plan in the Philippines.
With the global economic downturn weighing heavily on the entire country, news of this expansion has been greeted by the residents of Leyte as a beacon of hope.
As the first contact center to open in Eastern Visayas, APAC Leyte is seen as a great source of hope for the locals. Officials of local government there expect the new site to signal an economic upswing and the start of a new era of development for the province, and for the whole of Eastern Visayas.
"I am proud that APAC has chosen Leyte as the location for its fourth site," said Leyte Gov. Carlos Jericho Petilla.
"I have no doubt that the Leytenos are capable of providing what is required for successful business.. This is a great opportunity for us to raise our economy," Governor Petilla added.
The opening of APAC Leyte is the result of a close partnership between APAC and the local governments. As a response to the development efforts in Leyte over the past few years, Governor Petilla has been actively marketing the province of Leyte as a locale for large-scale investments in the information and communication technology (ICT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) industries.
It was at this same time that APAC began searching for viable locales for its planned new sites, and found in Leyte a suitable home for the first of these facilities. With an enthusiastic and cooperative local government executive, a deep talent pool, a good road network, and solid but underused ICT infrastructure, the company discovered that Leyte has all of the critical elements required for successful expansion, many of which have not been taken advantage of in the past.
"The company has chosen to invest in Leyte because the local governments there understood what our needs were and what the nature of our business is," explained Doug Almond, APAC's Vice President for International Operations.
"It also helped that there is a strong fiber optic backbone in the province. There are also over 20 top universities in the region. Hence, Leyte made the most sense."
The BPO industry has over the past several years been one of the fastest growing industries in the Philippines, with the country emerging as one of the global leaders in outsourcing and offshoring services together with India and China.
Regrettably, this great upsurge in BPO has to this point centered in the National Capital Region. APAC, with the opening of its Leyte site, is intent on drawing some of the focus away from areas in and around Metro Manila and expanding the sphere of growth and development in the BPO industry to more underdeveloped parts of the country.
"Based on the overwhelmingly positive results from APAC's six years here in the Philippines, I feel assured that we will continue to build lasting relationships with various stakeholders in the industry, and offer our customers different offshore options," said Mr. Almond.
"We have a growth strategy for the next five years in the Philippines, and the APAC Leyte Site is part of that strategy, together with a couple more sites opening in the Visayas and Mindanao regions."
With roughly PhP 200 Million invested in the new facility, APAC is set to create 1,000 new jobs in Leyte and Eastern Visayas with the opening of the Leyte site, and will offer one of the most competitive salaries in the area.
The company is confident in the success of the new contact center despite the global economic and financial crisis.
"Our verticals, which are in fields like healthcare and publishing, are not affected by the crisis in the same way as those of other BPO companies," Mr. Almond said.
"Our clients, many of whom continue to grow, are very excited about our prospects in Leyte. We look at the economic downturn as an opportunity rather than a stumbling block," Mr. Almond said. (PIA 8 with data from APAC) [top]