Naga’s economic power continues to soar
By Jose B. Perez, Editor
NAGA CITY — Naga’s role as a roaring economic power in Bicol continues to soar with more investments and service locators coming into the city creating more jobs and providing more infrastructure and opportunities for both big business and small entrepreneurs.
This was stressed by Naga City Mayor John Bongat during the first quarter general assembly meeting, induction and business forum of the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) at La Piazza Ballroom of Avenue Plaza Hotel who said that soon a new 5-storey building near the JMR Coliseum will be completed to house an additional 3,000 more slots for IBM, a BPO service provider which now has its IT park in the city.
The mayor disclosed that that the three big call centers now operating in the city, namely: IBM, Concentrix and Stellar, employ approximately 3,000 young people, aside from the 1,500 or so who are working at Sutherland at the provincial capitol complex in Pili, Camarines Sur, but whose employees or call center agents are mostly based or are residents of the city.
At an average salary of P15,000 monthly for each call center agent, this results to P45M a month — an amount that gets added to and circulated in the local economy, consequently helping families send their children to school and benefiting local businesses with the increase in purchasing power.
Our young graduates dosn’t have to be separated from their families by going to Manila to look for jobs because they can find them here, right in our city, Bongat said.
Mayor Bongat added that the ongoing construction of Robinsons Place Naga at Almeda bypass highway at corner Roxas Avenue (Maharlika Diversion Road) will feature a BPO Center with its own building adjacent to the mall.
Not to be left behind, SM City Naga is also expanding and according to Mayor Bongat will construct an additional 9-storey building at an adjacent lot where four of its floors will be allocated for BPO locators. With this, a boom in the call center industry of Naga will be felt in the next few months or one or two years, making the peso investment and job generation opportunity multiply ten-fold.
Naga businessman Magno Edilberto Rojas Conag III, also a member of MNCCI, remembers Mayor Bongat and the Naga City Investment Board (NCIB) talking about the possibility of BPO locators a few years ago as various stakeholders helped prepare the “pitch deck” for IBM. “Today, it’s now a reality,” he says.
The mayor said he needs everyone’s cooperation and help for the city to continue to grow.