By Jimmy Cassells on November 11, 2015
I love living in the Philippines. I love it so much that I’ve called Metro Manila home for the past ten years.
It’s one of the many reasons that I understand why thousands of people from the country’s provinces relocate to Metro Manila, hoping to have a better life. Many Filipinos believe that the only way their lives will prosper is to find a job in Manila—if not abroad.
However, things have significantly changed, and Filipinos should open their eyes to the fact that there are many reasons to consider working outside of Metro Manila instead such as in Cebu and Laguna, among others, and here are some of them.
The Case of Overpopulation
You only need to go to a mall on a weekend to see how congestion is now a huge problem in Metro Manila. In 2014, Metro Manila, which consists of sixteen cities, already had an overall population of 12 million. This number swells during the daytime to 15 million in the larger urban area, as students and employees start to flock the city as they go their respective schools and offices.
This case of overpopulation presents a variety of problems in the city. Resources such as food, water, and land can become scarce, pollution gets worse, the cost of living rises, and conflicts occur among others. Instead of moving to Metro Manila, more people should think of moving out of it before things get worse.
One of the biggest problems in Metro Manila right now is traffic. It’s so bad that people have to leave their house several hours early just to be able to arrive at their destination on time. A 30-minute drive can take up to two to three hours long, or more.
Traffic jams are caused not only by overpopulation of people but also of vehicles on the street. In fact, according to the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the total number of vehicles in Metro Manila has already peaked at 2.5 million in 2015. Aside from this, typhoons, flooding, crazy drivers, and inefficient traffic control among others also contribute to the mess.
On the contrary, provinces don't have to deal with these issues as much. If you need to go to your office every day, having to deal with this predicament can be detrimental to your health.
By the time you get home, it's already late at night, and there's no time left for your hobbies or family. Besides, you'll be too tired from the commute that all you'll want to do is sleep so that you can get up early the next day to do the same routine again.
So, how well can you expect to perform at work if you’re too tired to do your best?
Inefficient Transport System
Driving can be a pain in Metro Manila because of the traffic problem, so others choose to commute. However, commuting in the city is a challenge in itself because of the inefficient transport system.
No unified system makes it easier for commuters to travel from point A to point B. We also hear a lot of news about how public transportation can be dangerous as well because of bus, jeepney, or taxi drivers disregarding the transportation laws, insufficient road signs, defective stop lights, commuters getting mugged, or worse—corrupt traffic enforcers, and more.
On the other hand, by living and working outside of Metro Manila, such as in provincial areas, you’ll be able to avoid encountering these dilemmas. For instance, if you decide to work in Laguna, you won’t have to go through the 2 to 3-hour ride along EDSA every single day.
Pollution becomes more of a problem as the city becomes more congested. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) reported recently that Metro Manila's air quality situation during the first quarter of this year is even worse that it was at the end of 2014.
There are many causes of air pollution but according to the National Emissions Inventory in 2012, 71 percent of it comes from vehicles on the road. Pollution can cause many health problems and is actually the cause of 3.2 million preventable deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Areas outside of Metro Manila, on the other hand, experience less pollution because they are not as congested. You and your family can avoid all the health problems that pollution brings if you live and work far away from it.
Contrary to popular thinking, Metro Manila is not the only place in the country where there is a multitude of career opportunities. For instance, the hiring rate outside Metro Manila is expected to increase, particularly in the BPO industry.
Studies show that some companies lose over 1,000 employees every month because they find it hard to commute every day to reach their office. In an effort to reduce the employee attrition rate, BPO companies are now looking into building offices outside Metro Manila, near where their employees live.
Next Wave Cities
Speaking of the BPO industry, it continues to grow and expand, tapping what’s known as the These NWCs have many untapped talents making them alternative options to more established BPO hubs such as Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Clark.
An area’s potential to be an NWC lies on its talent, and that can be found outside of Metro Manila where 75 percent or over 350,000 annual university graduates come from. As of 2010 - 2011, the top ten NWCs were, in order, Davao, Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Bacolod, Iloilo, Metro Cavite, Lipa in Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos in Bulacan, Baguio, and Dumaguete. If you're looking for excellent career opportunities, these are the places to go.
There are undoubtedly many things to love about Metro Manila. However, it is not the only place to be in the Philippines, especially when it comes to exploring job opportunities. Look around and you'll find that growth actually lies outside Manila.