By Marites S. Villamor
Monday, June 29, 2009
CEBU CITY -- The Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) kicks off here today Convergence 2009, signifying the government’s commitment to spur development in the so-called "next wave cities" for outsourcing.
Convergence 2009 combines the Cyber Corridor Roadshow and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines’ (BPA/P) Talent Caravan.
CICT Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said the event will kick off at the CICT today and make stops at Sta. Rosa, Laguna; Trece Martires, Cavite; Iloilo; Davao; Bacolod; Malolos, Bulacan; Clark, Pampanga; Cagayan de Oro; Lipa; and Cebu.
It carries the theme, "Empowering the Filipino through ICT" and aims to promote opportunities in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.
"The Philippine IT-BPO industry is indeed something that all Filipinos should be proud of. We have already gained global recognition," Mr. Roxas-Chua said, referring to the declaration of the Philippines as Offshoring Destination of the Year, Manila as the third-preferred outsourcing city in Asia Pacific and Cebu as the number one emerging outsourcing city in the world.
As of end-2008, the industry employed about 372,000 workers and generated $6 billion in export revenues for the year.
The industry is projected to grow 20% this year despite the global crisis, Mr. Roxas-Chua said.
"While the bulk of revenue still comes from voice services, the industry is now focusing on diversifying into the higher value-added non-voice services, such as software development, which will provide higher paying jobs to Filipinos," he added.
Cities and municipalities in areas composing Metro Laguna and Metro Cavite have been judged the best next wave cities for outsourcing outside of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu. These are Santa Rosa City, Calamba City, Los Baños, Cabuyao and San Pablo City in Metro Laguna for the top spot, as well as Dasmariñas, Bacoor, Imus, and Cavite City in Metro Cavite for the second place.
Factors considered were ready availability of talent, infrastructure, cost, and ease of doing business.
Convergence 2009 also serves as the culminating activity of the National ICT Month celebration.