To encourage more outsourcing companies to invest in the country, the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) is targeting to build an outsourcing hub in every province. The said move is in accordance with a directive issued by President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo to invite outsourcing companies to situate their place of operation in every province throughout the country.In an interview made by INQUIRER.net, CICT Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim said that they will start to make every province a part of the next wave cities program. This is associated with the government’s earlier efforts to build and develop prospective areas in many cities and provinces that will house different outsourcing firms. The local government will play a vital role in this attempt since CICT will encourage the local government to take the initiative in starting these outsourcing hubs in their areas. “Local stakeholders will drive this initiative,” Ibrahim said.Since the continuous popularity and business opportunity gained by “next wave cities,” outsourcing has subsequently stirred the curiosity and interest of other provinces and cities. Ibrahim further admitted that many provinces and cities now want to be included in this circle of elite cities.Together with the Business Processing Association of the Philippines, CICT and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have devised a scorecard ranking in determining potential next-wave cities in the country.In a recent ratings made, 10 destinations are ranked among the top locations for outsourcing companies. Included in these areas are provinces located outside Metro Manila. The ranking is based on talent (50%); infrastructure (30%); business environment (15%); and cost of doing business (5%). Different provinces like Iloilo, Davao, Bacolod, Pampanga, Angeles/Clark/Mabalacat/Dau, Baliuag/Marilao/Meycauyan, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos/Calumpit, Lipa, Metro Cavite, and Metro Laguna were included in the list.Laguna topped the list, which includes the areas of Sta. Rosa and Calamba, followed by Metro Cavite, which includes Bacoor, Imus, and Dasmariñas areas. Only Cavite and Laguna were given top scores in the “talent” criteria, while Davao scored highest in the “business environment” criteria.Although the said provinces are considered to have the potential to attract outsourcing companies in establishing their companies in the area, 80% of the outsourcing companies are still currently based in Manila. “There is tremendous pressure on Metro Manila in terms of manpower supply,” Bureau of Investments, Executive Director of Investment Promotions Celeste B. Ilagan said.The president of the Laguna Industry Network for Knowledge, Innovation, and Technology, Tony del Carmen, said that the high ratings acquired by Laguna was due to the “high density of schools” in the area. He noted that Laguna houses around 32 colleges and universities and 250 technology-vocational schools to date. “This has been Laguna’s edge,” he said pertaining to the huge pool of talents that these educational institutions can generate. With the growth of qualified and skilled talents in the area, different outsourcing companies are planning to establish their sites in the province. Del Carmen added that they are planning to collaborate with different educational institutions in the area, particularly top universities, to help support and boost the outsourcing industry in Laguna.