By Francis Allan L. Angelo


WILL another call center investor pull out from Iloilo City because of expensive electricity?


Reports came out yesterday that Callbox, Inc., the first business processes outsourcing (BPO) investor in the city, is planning to transfer its Iloilo operations to another location.


The main reason is the expensive power rates of Panay Electric Co. (Peco), the sole power distributor in the city.


Top Callbox officials headed by chief executive officer Rom Agustin met Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas to discuss their concerns regarding the city’s power situation.


Treñas confirmed the meeting with Callbox executives who raised their concerns about the city’s expensive power rates.


“Namahalan na gid sila (They find it very expensive). But they did not broach the possibility of relocating to other areas,” Treñas said.


Treñas said he will try to help resolve the issue to save the employment generated by the BPO firm.


Callbox sources said they are also wondering why brownouts continue to happen despite Peco’s high rate of electricity presently pegged at P13 per kilowatt-hour.


But Glen Norris, Callbox chief operating officer, said the report on their plans to leave Iloilo is “interesting but not true.”


“We are not leaving,” Norris said in a text message.


Expensive power rates is one of the main stumbling blocks to Iloilo’s investment growth as pointed out by previous Philippine Cities Competitiveness surveys conducted by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).


According to its official website, Callbox is a full service sales and marketing firm that provides outbound and inbound sales solutions, creative marketing support, and database services.


Callbox complements the sales process of businesses, enabling them to accelerate revenue growth and market capture with its global database and cutting-edge service delivery systems. By providing valuable insight on best practices and top notch sales support, Callbox allows businesses to focus on developing their products and services.


Launched in Los Angeles, California, Callbox provides global market access to leading industries such as software and technology services, financial, medical and business services from its offices in the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, the United Kingdom and the Philippines.


Callbox is operating in the cities of Iloilo, Davao and Makati.