Cebu-based group reaches out to IT Pinoys abroad

FOLLOWING the example of India, a Cebu-based foundation has recently begun an initiative to lure back to the Philippines Filipino information technology professionals and talent based abroad.

The Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (Cedf-IT) is leading a "global outreach for IT Pinoys" program that intends to encourage our IT professionals to either invest in or transfer knowledge to the Philippines, Cedf-IT executive director Boni Belen told

"We want to invite them to share their experiences working abroad. But they will have to look for creative ways to bring their knowledge back to our country," Belen said.

The Cebu-based organization believes that Filipino IT professionals are the "best salesmen" for the Philippines. "This has been the strategy used by Indians over the years," he added.

Cedf-IT is currently looking at working with local organizations also engaged in similar initiatives.

"We already have started with an e-group [mailing list]," Beln continued. According to an article in Cedf-IT's website (, the initiative was inspired by the group's recent visit to India.

"As we arrived at the Bangalore International Airport last March 7, we could not help but wonder if all the ‘IT hype’ about India was indeed factual. The hype about India as a major IT (Information Technology) and ITES (IT Enabled Services) outsourcing capital of the world was corroborated when we visited Indian-owned companies in Bangalore and Hyderabad," the article said.

The article indicated that Indian IT firms such as VMoshka Tech, iFlex, Wipro, and InfoSys, were established by Indian nationals who had migrated to the United States but returned home to create these companies -- now averaging over a billion dollars in annual gross sales.

Cedf-IT indicated that the Indian government amended its policies in the 80s to attract IT Indian professionals who had established themselves overseas.

"Such policies involved tax and import liberalization for the software economy as well as extensive investments in infrastructures, particularly the technical infrastructure and the educational system," Cedf-IT wrote.

Its discovery of thousands of IT Pinoys abroad spurred Cedf-IT to draft plans for its global outreach program

Cedf-IT is a foundation that was established after the first Cebu IT Summit convened by Mayor Alvin Garcia in 2001. It represents major players in the industry, academe, and government.



By Erwin Lemuel Oliva