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PIA Press Release

Bacolod tops ICT business environment category

Bacolod City (13 November) -- Bacolod City topped in the criterion of business environment with a score of 96 percent among the Ten Next Wave Cities Scorecard Ranking" of the Commission on Information and Communication Technology (CICT), Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) and the Department of Trade and Industry for outsourcing in the Philippines outside of Metro Manila and Cebu.

This was announced recently by Bacolod City Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, chair of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications (BNEFIT), Incorporated.

Oscar Sanez, chief executive officer of the BPAP said Bacolod City topped the business environment category, because of the presence of sites accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and proclaimed by the Office of the President and the existence of the Bacolod ICT Focus Team, which eventually led to the creation of BNEFIT, a province-wide organization.

Batapa-Sigue thanked all the real estate developers who are accredited with PEZA and the members of the ICT sector for their full support to the ICT programs of Bacolod.

Bacolod also scored high in the category since this criterion took into account incentives from the local government units, peace and order situation, and vulnerability to natural disturbances, travel advisories and crime rates.

Iloilo ranked second in this criterion with a score of 92 percent. Over-all, Bacolod ranked fifth with 78 percent, while Iloilo placed third with 80.9 percent.

We are second in terms of costs, which includes median base pay, real estate rentals and power rates. We ranked fifth in terms of infrastructure which considers airport standards, flight frequency and international flights, availability of real estate, hotel accommodations, road quality, telecommunications and power infrastructure. Batapa-Sigue said.

However, Bacolod is in the lower five on the aspect of human resource, and there is a need to enhance this area by involving the whole province of Negros Occidental.

Graduates need to develop their talents and skills which can make or break the industry. A workforce with the correct skill set is our competitive advantage to India, China and all the other countries who have identified the development of the services sector as one of their economic strategies, Batapa-Sigue said.

To attain our country's objective of becoming a serious global player in the outsourcing and off-shoring industry, Bacolod must join the direction of other cities, which focus on the development of graduates so that they can successfully integrate themselves into and become part of our services workforce.

The BPAP-CICT-DTI scorecard computed the scores using the following criteria: availability of talent (50%), infrastructure (30%), cost (5%) and business environment (15%).

Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III of the CICT said that having BPO locators outside Manila and Cebu can also boost the economy of the provinces and cities as "it can spur the local economy because of the high disposable income of the workers." (Batapa News/PIA/EAD) [top]

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