Modernity Meets Turn-of-the-Century Opulence
Bacolod is known for its sugar industry, which continues to dominate the economy and the local desserts. Metro Bacolod is a surprisingly urban environment with over a million inhabitants in Bacolod, Silay, and Talisay.
Bacolod serves as the provincial capital for Negros Occidental. Two provinces comprise Negros island, one in the northwest (Negros Occidental) and one in the southeast (Negros Oriental).
In 2014 the Negros Occidental provincial government collected the highest tax revenues of any of the Philippines’ provinces. That haul, P3.332 billion (about $66.1 million) in revenue certainly factored in a heavy BPO industry contribution of direct and indirect taxes.
Of Sugar Barons and Hacienderos
Going big on their revenue collections is part of the local culture. As Elsa Martinez-Coscolluela writes in “Cuernos de Negros” in Katipunera and Other Poems,
This penchant for lavish spending, cultural refinement and flamboyance has shaped a mentality that inclines towards either doing things in a big way, whether it be handling an art festival or putting up a world class art center, or not doing them at all.
Attracting Business Process Outsourcing
Making a grand gesture to grab BPO locators, the Negros Occidental provincial government has garnered 35,000 workers in 20 major companies. Negros Occidental has a total of 13 operating PEZA registered IT Parks and Centers.
In 2015, Bacolod built an IT-BPO Outsourcing Hub, spending over $1 million to refit a sports complex with 22,000 square meters of mixed IT-BPO and commercial spaces.