Legazpi City ready for more IT-BPO companies expanding operations

Monday, September 10, 2012 12:00 AM    Views : 4086by:Marlon A. Loterte

This city is ready for Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) companies that are expanding their operations outside established hubs like Metro Manila, Cebu and Clark.

"In a big way, we are ready to take in more IT-BPO entries," City Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal said on Wednesday following the city's hosting of the IT-BPO road show entitled "ICT Road Show in the Next Wave Cities: Harnessing ICT for a Smarter Countryside."

The road show held at the La Piazza Hotel was organized by the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in coordination with the Albay Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Association and the Legazpi City ICT Council.

ICTO is the Philippine Government's lead agency on ICT-related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, e-Government, ICT policy development, Internet for all and cybersecurity.

The road show, attended by thousands of students, professionals and other stakeholders in the ICT industry, aims to encourage incoming college students to take ICT-related, engineering and architecture courses to support and take advantage of the country's fast growing IT-BPO industry.

Panelists of the event were from the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), Contact Center Association of the Philippines, Healthcare Information Management Outsourcing Association of the Philippines (HIMOAP), Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) and Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP).

From here, the next leg of the road show will be on September 7 in Palayan City to be co-organized by the Tech-Novo Ecijano Association Inc.

Rosal said the readiness of the city for more IT-BPO operations is further attested to by its being named into the 10 Next Wave Cities in the country's BPO industry list of the BPAP last year.

Considered by the BPAP as a feeder city for providing highly qualified manpower to other outsourcing centers across the country, Legazpi joined top listed Davao City and other early entrants to the New Wave Cities such as Bacolod, Baguio, Malolos, Iloilo, Cavite, Lipa and Cagayan de Oro.

The city, the government's regional center for Bicol, also scored high in the cost of doing business and availability of needed physical IT infrastructures to support the outsourcing industry, the BPAP said.

Its accessibility through land, air and sea transport from Manila, Cebu and other areas of the country added to having reliable telecommunications providers like Smart, Globe, Bayantel and PLDT that provides dependable internet and bandwidth connectivity are important factors that attracted BPO investors to locate in the city, it added.

Being a New Wave City provides a great avenue for local empowerment as increases talent pool and stem salary and rental inflation. It also eases the pressures to raise salaries and rental rates in these major hubs, and spread the benefits of employment, higher incomes and increased business activity across the country.

The BPAP said it sees the Philippines maintaining its position as one of the world's top outsourcing destination, generating annual revenue of USD 25 billion by 2015. More companies are expected to sub-contract services to companies in the Philippines as a way to cut costs.

BPAP said the Philippines is seen to maintain its market share of around 10 percent, despite emerging competitors like Vietnam and other countries in South America also joining the race for more clients. The country's BPO industry currently employs around 600,000 people.

"We have talents for this industry. We have good schools that produce good graduates. We have good command of the English language. We have the facilities. We have the necessary support of the academe, and there is the definite and strong partnership between the private groups and the local government," Rosal said.

In support to this the Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation Inc. (SLTCFI) which is itself an IT-BPO provider and training center based here has launched the country's first BPO high school, a significant step in fortifying the city's classification as an IT-BPO location.

SLTCFI BPO High School integrates BPO curriculum in the high school and as the pioneer in offering the Business Process Service Management courses in the Philippines, SLTCFI ensures that its graduates are equipped with skills for supervisory positions once they apply for jobs in BPO companies.


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