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AT NAGA SUMMIT: ICT-BPO leaders see vibrant, rosy prospect for the industry

By Jason B. Neola

NAGA CITY --- The Information Communication Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO) sector here will become even more vibrant and rosy.

This was given emphasis by the leaders of the industry who participated in the summit which was organized by the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

The event served as a facility to enhance educational experience and share learnings, programs, innovations and best practices, which can be brought back to the participants’ respective communities to be able to help create new jobs.

The 2-day national event that reeled off November 23-24, this year, was staged along with the city government of Naga and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as co-organizers.

In his welcome message, Mayor John G. Bongat said that the event sums up the decade of the NICP’s thrust of promoting different cities and provinces both as digital destinations for ICT-related foreign and local investments, and a digital governance innovators.

“Indeed, the NICP has been successful in linking cities and provinces to each other and to the world.

This summit is an excellent platform for the NICP to fortify its relationship with ICT Council members, partners, businesspeople, the academe, IT practitioners and other stakeholders,” he said.

In a press briefing, the mayor felt delighted when Dr. Antonio Del Carmen, NICP president, said that this city has been regarded by many graduates of different colleges and universities in the Bicol Region to be the crux where they can continue to pursue their careers.

Del Carmen underscored the richness and strength of this city and the Bicol Region when it comes to creating ICT-BPO talents due to the existence of some of the country’s best universities and colleges.

“I think they [colleges and universities in Naga and Bicol] have about seven centers of excellence and they are producing 10,000 to 12,000 graduates every year, which is a very good measure how ICT investments can grow here.

It is very assuring that all of these graduates need not move to any other place,” says Del Carmen.

Wikipedia explained: A center of excellence is a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. Due to its broad usage and vague legal precedent, a “center of excellence” in one context may have completely different characteristics from another. The focus area might be a technology e.g. Java, a business concept e.g. BPM, a skill e.g. negotiation or a broad area of study e.g. women’s health.

A center of excellence may also be aimed at revitalizing stalled initiatives. The term may also refer to a network of institutions collaborating with each other to pursue excellence in a particular area e.g. the Rochester Area Colleges Center for Excellence in Math and Science.

In an interview, E. Daniel A. De Leon, ICT@Bicol Metro Naga Council president and Summit chairman, said that apart from the talents, another factor that attracts ICT-related foreign and local investments is the place’s investment-friendliness like that of Naga.

De Leon said Naga is one of the most livable cities in the country and named by the Manila Times as one of the 2017 Top Philippine Model Cities and one of the most livable cities by the League of Cities.

“Various awards have already been conferred on Naga City since the time of then Mayor Jesse Robredo, who supported the advocacies and platforms of ICT industry in its early days in Naga, whose legacy has been continued and further bolstered by Mayor John Bongat under whose term Naga was chosen, among others, as the country’s Most Competitive Component City for four consecutive years,” De Leon said.

Bongat said that by “Naga’s competitiveness, transparency, and investment-friendliness, the city would be one of the best places that any BPO can locate.”

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