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Outsourcing Grows as Mindanao University Sign Deal With BPO Group

May 08 2009
Not just call centers, but web & engineering design as well as accountancy and scientific work is being outsourced to the Philippines

A major business process outsourcing (BPO) company and a Mindanao-based university known for its information technology (IT) and engineering programs have entered into a business partnership.

Based on the memorandum of agreement, the HP Outsourcing Philippines, Inc., a subsidiary of the Hubport Group, will establish an office on the campus of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

“Despite the economic downturn, the global demand for outsourced IT services continues to grow,” Hubport Group Chief Operations Office Xavier Eric Manalastas said.

“The partnership with MSU-ITT adds to our capability to deploy a skilled IT workforce at par with international standards” Manalastas added.

He said the 24-hour facility will serve as a remote or virtual office for Hubport’s commercial operations, as well as a virtual computer laboratory for the on-the-job training of IIT students on Web design, animation, transcription services and other skills, with the expectation that selected students will eventually be hired by Hubport.

He said Hubport will also share best practices in BPO operations with MSU-IIT, and assist faculty members in tailoring the institute’s information and communication technology (ICT) curriculum to the needs of the expanding BPO sector.

“This ensures that the skills of the local labor pool match industry requirements,” Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) deputy program manager for business development Renne Subido said.

The GEM Program which is funded by the United States Agency for International Assistance (USAID) facilitated the tie-up between Hubport and the MSU-IIT.

The Hubport facility will also be “fed” selected students honing their English skills through GEM’s Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) project, which is being implemented at MSU-IIT.

The Hubport Group, which has offices and partners in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Japan, provides web-based services ranging from website design, development, hosting and search engine optimization, to internet consultancy, e-commerce, multimedia design and business process outsourcing.

As the outsourcing industry grows and demand for labor begins to outstrip supply in Manila and in ICT hubs such as Davao, more firms are establishing virtual offices in alternative locations like in the cities of Zamboanga, General Santos, Cotabato, and Marawi.

“The Iligan city government is enthusiastic in its support for local ICT businesses,” said Dr. Emmanuel Lagare, a faculty member of MSU-ITT and chairman of the Iligan Information and Communications Technology Council.

“Investors are pleasantly surprised by the number of workers with high-level ICT skills in these Mindanao cities, which have some of the better universities in the country.” said Subido.

A number of MSU-IIT departments had been designated by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as centers of excellence and development in various fields, including ICT, engineering, science and mathematics. (PNA)

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