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PIA Press Release

Iloilo creates own niche in RP Cyber Corridor

Iloilo City (4 February) -- Iloilo has now carved its own niche in the country's cyber corridor with its great potential for business process outsourcing (BPO)investment.

This was affirmed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her recent visit to John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBFMU) in this city, as part of her cyber corridor tour of identified top ten next wave zones of business process outsourcing in the country outside Metro Manila and Cebu which include Iloilo.

President Arroyo cited in her speech Iloilo's ICT academy as among the factors why it has been identified as a great potential for BPO investments by private sector, academe and government.

"But excellent as your Maritime education is, we're actually here now to showcase your ICT education," said President Arroyo to the students and personnel of JBLFMU.

The JBLFMU through its Ronald Raymond Lacson Sebastian-Information and Communications Technology Academy Department has been offering TESDA registered courses for seven years. It has also been able to produce 400 Pangulong Gloria Scholars for Finishing Courses for Call Center Agents 252 of whom were already employed.

"Your school has produced over 400 of our scholarships under the Finishing Course for call agents. And I'm so proud the 250 have already been assured of jobs, that's more than, that is about 60 percent hiring rate," said President Arroyo.

Nationally, according to President Arroyo, the hiring rate is 6 percent and that of the JBLFMU is 60 percent hiring rate which is 10 times more than the national average.

President Arroyo added that the 400 young trainees form part of almost 3,000 graduates of Region VI's BPO training programs.

Based on data of Business Processing Association of the Philippines, as of April 2009, there are at least 15 BPO and IT companies in Iloilo City, employing more than 4,000 FTEs from 1,500 full-time employees in 2006.

President Arroyo also noted that from scratch with only 2,000 workers in year 2000, the country's BPO has grown into a global powerhouse earning more than 7 billion dollars in 2009 and creating almost half a million jobs.

"The 500,000 jobs created in ICT are part of the legacy that I am happy to leave behind," said President Arroyo. (PIA) [top]

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