PGMA says BPO jobs form part of her legacy
Manila (4 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo stressed that the 500,000 jobs created in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is part of the legacy she will leave behind when she steps down this June, after nine years of steering the country to progress.
In her message delivered at the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University in Molo, Iloilo City last Wednesday, February 3, the President said she created and developed what is today a global powerhouse: the Philippines BPO industry.
"From $24 million in 2001, our BPO industry has grown to earn $7.3 billion in 2009, not far behind India's $9 billion," the President said.
The President said that in developing the BPO sector, her administration invested in strategic digital infrastructure, formulated the appropriate policy, created the legal environment, and developed human capital.
According to the President she has also encouraged the establishment of broadband services in cities and identified growth areas; created the Commission on ICT, which is guided by the market with minimal government interference; and invested in technical education and skills development by providing schools with computers and Internet connection.
"We invested in technical, vocational, and skills training three times more than that of three previous administrations combined. A very large portion of this investment went to scholarships for call center training," she said.
On the third leg of her week-long tour of the country's Cyber Corridor, the President hailed the university for offering courses for call center agents.
"Iloilo City has been identified as having great potentials for ICT because of its ICT academy," the President said.
During her visit, the President observed an ongoing English proficiency class of 20 students and a computer class for potential call center workers.
The President also noted that the university offers TESDA (Technical Education Skills and Development Authority)-registered courses and was able to produce 400 Pangulong Gloria Scholars for call center agents. To date, 252 of these scholars are employed in BPOs.
The Cyber Corridor, identified and periodically updated by the private sector, the academe and government, was originally confined in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
Over the years, it has expanded so much that it now includes ten"New Wave Cities", notably Metro Laguna, Metro Cavite, Metro Pampanga, Metro Bulacan, Central Bulacan, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, Lipa, Metro Laguna, and Iloilo. (PIA-MMIO) [top]