Outsource in Cebu

Assessment on the outsourcing capabilities of Cebu. Its potentials , strengths, weak points and geographical advantage.

Cebu’s Strength’s
– Aside from the already existing employees of outsourcing companies, there are lot of University Graduates in Cebu, and we can also include nearby regions such as Negros, Bacolod and Mindanao. Some professionals in Manila and Luzon area are also willing to work in Cebu. Philippines ranks at no. 12 ( at 98.3 million ) in world population with Cebu at 4 million.

Here is the list of all colleges in the Philippines:

Cebu / Philippines time difference to the rest of the world
– The entire Philippines have the same timezone at GMT+8 but as compared to other countries, here’s the difference;
> Japan is only one hour advance
> Australia is 2 hours advance or has the same timezone ( depends in which city in Australia )
> Singapore and Hong Kong have the same timezone
> Europe is at least 5 hours late, so the afternoon in the Philippines is morning in Europe
> India is at least 2 hours late
> United States, Canada and the entire South America is in reverse. This means that when people in the Philippines are working, People in the United States are sleeping.
And this goes the other way around in the next day.

Cebu’s IT talents
– Cebu has around 20 Software Development companies, With the most number are coming from United States and Japan. There are also European companies. The companies range from multinational with some small and medium enterprises starting to emerge. With a good English speaking population Cebu and the Philippines is one of the top destinations for Call Center operations. Call Center operations caters to the United States, Australia and Europe. Other outsource IT services include; Accounting, Medical Transcription, IT Technical Support, and Graphic design.

Laws regarding foreigners ownership of a Philippine business
– A business can be of foreign ownership up to 100% as long as products of the business are for exports. All manufacturing plants and BPO ( Business Process Outsourcing ) are all declared as exports. If a foreigner would like to setup a business for the local market, the law states that 60% share should be from Philippine citizens and 40% can be owned by foreign nationals. This law somehow protects local markets with foreign competition, but may be of hindrance to some foreigners who would like to do business in the local market, without the mandatory collaboration of a local partner.

Here’s more information in this website about laws regarding foreigners setting up a business in the Philippines.

Cebu in comparison to Metro Manila
– Cebu is the second largest city in the Philippines outside of Metro Manila. Manila is the capital where most major corporations and main branches operate there. But one of its disadvantages that its too crowded, heavy traffic, flooding ( but only on typhoon/heavy rains ), higher rental rates and a higher cost of living. Manila’s advantage is that you can get more talents in there since the market there is much larger than Cebu. Cebu’s advantage is on the lower costs of operations and better livability.

Cebu developments and infrastructure
– There is an ongoing Real estate boom in Cebu. Numerous buildings are created such as condominiums, office buildings, hotels, shopping malls, housing and other establishments. There is not much development in the transportation sector, but there are upcoming plans of a BRT Mass transit and the reconstruction and expansion of the Mactan International Airport.

Cebu’s Electric power supply
The Philippines has excellent resouces on renewable energy with geothermal, solar, wind, and hydro power plants. There are also natural gas and coal power plants also. Cebu is connected to the Visayas power grid, with neighboring islands supplying electrical energy to Cebu via underwater cables.

See the list of Philippine Power plants:

Here’s the wikipedia page on Geothermal power in the Philippines

Cebu’s perks and uniqueness
– Cebu is geographically located in the center of the Philippines, making it the central gathering point from all other islands and cities of the Visayas and Mindanao. Cebu is the a very urbanized city, complete with modern transportation and infrastructure second only to Metro Manila. For its geographical landscape, Cebu is a small and elongated island. Plain lands is limited and most areas are mountainous. Great advantage of Cebu is that it has large shorelines and the nearby Mactan Island is known for its world-class resort destinations.

Foreign Population
– There are significant number of Koreans living in Cebu. Most are English students, some are businessmen and others are families. There are also a lot of Japanese, but majority of these people are just tourists and only travel to the Philippines just for vacation. There are also Chinese, some for business while others are tourists. There are also students from India, the Middle East and Africa. Americans and Europeans are also here, some for business, others are on vacation, while the rest are taking thier retirement here.

Where should Cebu Improve on
– It should be highly be emphasized that Cebu needs to address the these major issues. 1. ) Better and efficeint transportation 2.) Address the issue of poverty 3.) Be prepared on disasters. Some other aspects to improve on, but already has some significant improvement. These are; 1.) Start-up industries and solid local products 2.) Establish better links to the other cities in Visayas and the Philippines

Here’s some news on the business trends in the Philippines


A list of MEPZ companies in Cebu ( Local and Export processing industrial plants )



List of all companies that are registered PEZA ( Philippine Export Zone Authority )

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