John Hay Booming into an Economic Hub
May 9, 2015
John Hay Special Economic Zone (JHSEZ) is becoming a favorite location for businesses, which translates to thousands of jobs generated.
Dr. Jamie Eloise M. Agbayani, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of John Hay Management Corporation (JHMC), a subsidiary of the state-owned Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) said that at present there are 117 business enterprises who have located inside JHSEZ, a 50 percent increase in number over the past four years and a 196 percent increase in job generation which now accounts to 4,176 employees as of the end of 2014.
This is a 20 percent increase from the total number of workers in JHSEZ in 2013 where there were 3,473 workers recorded.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) accounts for 70 percent of the workers inside the special economic zone employed by InterContinental Hotels Group and Convergys.
In 2013, BPO reported a total of 1,746 workers which number was increased by 40 percent, bringing the total BPO workforce to 2,450 in 2014.
Agbayani explained that in compliance to the policy that the zone and its locators prioritize locals in hiring employees, Agbayani said 90 percent of the work force inside JHSEZ are residents of Baguio City, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba and Tublay (BLISTT) and the rest of the Cordillera region, ensuring that the local residents are the direct beneficiaries of the developments in Camp John Hay.
Tourism being an economic booster was also felt in Camp John Hay in the year 2014. Agbayani said that data from accommodation facilities here shows that tourist arrivals inside John Hay increased by 13 percent or a total of 187,153 tourists recorded to have visited this place in 2014 compared to the 165,622 visitors in 2013.
The opening of businesses inside Camp John Hay, was driven by the increasing tourist arrivals, both local and foreign, showing that 2014 is another good year where economic regeneration was noted.
“The boost in tourist arrivals was a result of the promotion of the Camp for recreational and eco-cultural tourism, for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (M.I.C.E.),and the opening of new retail shops and restaurants at the Ayala Techno-Hub,” Agbayani explained.
In the Ayala Techno-Hub alone, with the opening of its second business processing outsourcing (BPO) facility and additional retail shops and restaurants, the locators increased to a total of 34 in 2014.
The intensified marketing of the Historical Core as a preferred destination for corporate events and family occasions had also contributed to the visitors in the area.
Record shows that there were 48 marketing events, functions and eco-tours held in 2014, with nuptials consistently accounting for about 68 percent of the events.
The historical core is composed of the Bell House, Amphitheater, and the Cemetery of Negativism.
Agbayani added that not just in Camp John Hay, Baguio City and its adjoining towns benefits from the opening of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) in the middle of the year, which significantly shortened travel time to the City of Baguio, eventually encouraging others to visit this summer capital including the tourism towns in Benguet province./JHMC-PR