PGMA to tour Asiatown IT Park in Cebu
By Rachelle M. Nessia
Cebu City (3 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is set to stop by Cebu City at 4:30 p.m. today to tour the Asiatown IT Park in Lahug as part of her tour of key cities and towns nestled within the country's cyber corridor or locations of choice by information and communications technology (ICT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms.
This is the President's fifth leg in her Cyber Corridor Tour across the country to highlight the part of the President's legacy that provides human and physical infrastructure for the ICT-BPO sector creating high-paying jobs for young Filipinos.
The President is expected to arrive in Cebu's Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) at 4:30 p.m. where she will be received by key provincial government officials led by Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Cebu North District Rep. Raul del Mar, Presidential Assistant for Central Visayas Felix Guanzon, MCIA General Manager Gen. (Ret) Danilo Francia, COMCENTCOM Major General Ralph Villanueva, PNP-7 Regional Director C/Supt. Lani-o Neres and 2nd Air Division Commander M/Gen. Edgardo Mendoza.
Pres. Arroyo will then motor to Asiatown IT Park where she will be met at the entrance arch by Cebu Properties Ventures and Development Corp. (CPVDC) President Francis Monera, Cebu Educational Development Foundation IT President Bonifacio Belen, Asiatown IT Park Corporation Communications Head Janet Japson and the 44 leading IT key industry players, IT locators and BPO investors in the province.
From there, the President will board a tour coaster for a windshield inspection of the office buildings and cyber facilities at the IT Park.
Asiatown IT Park is a 23-hectare property which was formerly Lahug Airport transformed into the flagship project of CPVDC as the first IT Park accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Positioning itself as a viable hub for IT locators, the park hosts a total of 44 IT and IT-enabled firms and BPOs with direct employment of 13,500 employees and a 5,000-strong workforce for its varied IT support services ranging from the conventional voice/call center service to "high end" IT services such as software product development and engineering used by multinational IT enabled companies worldwide.
Pres. Arroyo is also expected to interact with applicants as IT professionals at the Human Resource and Recruitment Section of Qualfon Quality Contact Services, the latest IT locator to set up house at the Sky Rise 3 Building inside the IT Park with some 1,200 employees.
A brief program and media interaction are also expected to follow during which Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama will give the welcome remarks followed by a briefing on IT Developments in Cebu by Cebu Educational Development Foundation IT President Bonifacio Belen and an audio visual presentation on the President's IT Milestone Legacy and accomplishments.
An interaction with the media and selected IT professionals and beneficiaries will cap the President's visit in the province.
The President's cyber corridor spotlights the President's ICT milestone legacy in the government's advocacy and legacy agenda to provide jobs for Filipinos as she has outlined in her past State of the Nation Addresses on the Cyber Corridor Super Region for the country.
"BPO and E-services are key drivers for our economy as they generate investment, jobs, they alleviate poverty and improve the lives of our people. And we are proud to be among the world's leaders in this field," stressed the President in her earlier speeches.
She said that this goes to show that the country's Cyber Corridor project which encompasses centers of technology and learning running the length of the super regions from Baguio to Clark to Metro Manila to Cebu and down to Davao and neighboring areas, is in full swing.
The President also declared that "we are now creating wealth by developing the BPO and tourism sectors as additional engines of growth" with the BPO remaining resilient through the rise and fall of the economy.
With earnings of six billion dollars and employment of 600,000, the BPO industry in the country has manifested of the Filipino's competitiveness productivity, she added.
The Cyber Corridor Project was set up in 2006 according to a plan prepared by 31 ICT councils composed of representatives from the private sector, the academe, and local government units in partnership with CICT, DTI, and BPAP when the President introduced the super regions concept dividing the country into five areas of development, namely: North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, Luzon Urban Beltway, Central Philippines for Tourism, Agribusiness Mindanao, and Cyber Corridor.
Prior to flying in to Cebu today, the President is also scheduled to grace the international Autism Conference at 10:00 a.m. at the PICC in Pasay City followed by her Cyber Corridor Tour and visit at the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University in Molo, Iloilo City and Teleperformance-Luxur IT Center in Bacolod City.
After her visit here, the President is expected to continue her Cyber Corridor Tour in Concentrix-Damosait Park in Davao City. (PIA/RMN) [top]