The BPO services sector employs some 1.2 million people in the Philippines, most of them are located in Manila. This translates to 840,000 workers in the capital city alone.
Manila’s population is about 1.65 million. In other words, half the city consists of BPO workers. With an area of only 613 square kilometers, Manila’s population density is the highest in the world. This puts an immense strain on its resources. Contact center workers can cover only 5 kilometers in two hours during their commute. On most days, they have to travel three hours each way.
They are desperate for residential accommodation nearer to their places of work. Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman at Franklin Templeton Investments, sees an opportunity in real estate. He believes that the BPO industry in Manila will only grow further.
Attempts are underway to increase the percentage of non-Manila BPOs from 30% to 50%. But the increase in the volume of business means that there will be more jobs created in Manila. This only adds to the situation, and to the pockets of those who invest in providing affordable housing.