DOST vows to support ICT councils in generating investments for BPO industry

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA, Jan 30 (PNA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) plans to further boost the capability of information and communication technology (ICT) councils in its efforts to attract more investments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in the country.

In an interview with the Philippines News Agency Thursday, Next Wave Cities Program Manager Emmy Lou Delfin said that the DOST’s ICT Office is committed to pursuing capability building initiatives through workshops, trainings and seminars for these councils.

The ICT councils which consist of various stakeholders such as the academe, local government units, telecommunication providers, property developers and local chambers of commerce have contributed significantly in providing a suitable environment that would host IT-BPO operations in the countryside through setting policies that are geared towards improving business climate, ensuring security and lowering costs of business.

There are around 42 ICT councils nationwide which are grouped together under the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

“The NICP serves as a single unifying voice for the ICT industry wherein member organizations share their best practices and collaborate with each other to boost their structural development,” according to Delfin.

The ICTO lauds these policymaking bodies for the inclusion of Philippine cities among the most preferred outsourcing destinations worldwide.

A recent report released by international consultancy firm Tholons show that Manila is now the world’s second most preferred outsourcing destination overtaking Mumbai city in India.

A total of seven Philippine cities were included among the top 100 outsourcing destinations worldwide according to Tholons.

The ICTO has recently stated that they are eyeing for three more cities to be included in the top 100 by 2016.

The DOST ICTO’s Next Wave Cities initiative seeks to establish ICT hubs outside Metro Manila as part of its contribution to attaining inclusive growth and bringing economic development to the countryside.

These cities are selected based on availability of talent and relevant infrastructure, connectivity through fiber-optic of other telecommunications networks, accessibility, cost of related factor inputs, and the business environment including vulnerability to natural disturbances and issues related to security and safety.

The country’s IT-BPO industry has created 885,000 jobs generating USD 15.5 billion in revenues out of which 520,000 jobs came from next wave cities last year, according to the ICTO.

The industry is projected to attain 1.3 million jobs with a revenue of USD 25 billion by 2016.(PNA)