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PIA Press Release

Councilor traces Bacolod IT growth to President Arroyo

Bacolod City (5 February) -- Bacolod City Councilor and Bacolod -Negros Occ. Federation for Information and Communications Technology or BNEFIT Chair Jocelle Batapa- Sigue credited President Gloria M. Arroyo for the growth of Call Center industry in Bacolod City.

In her speech during the recent visit of the president here, Sigue credited Pres. Arroyo for launching the Business Processing Outsourcing Roadmap, BPO, 2010 that envisioned to generate 1M jobs anchoring on global IT-BPO growth.

Bacolod City picked- up the challenge from the president's initiave that gave birth to the BNEFIT with Councilor Sigue taking a key leadership position.

"A few weeks later after BNEFIT was formed, I joined key IT leaders from Cebu, Manila, Davao, Iloilo, and Cagayan De Oro in Cebu to start creating a nationwide council of all ICT councils and federations," she told the audience mostly stakeholder of the IT industry, academe, call center agents and government representatives.

"From there we moved to holding the first ICT summit in Iligan where 10 of the biggest cities from the provinces forged to create the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines to be the recognized national venue collaboration?.. and to be the united voice for the Philippine Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry."

The industry, since then, rose to meteoric heights in progress surpassing the expectations of many experts.

In Bacolod City, "these translate to almost 3,000 seats or technically based on PEZA standards - a direct investment of more than 15 Million Dollars and the infusion of almost 80 Million Pesos every month in terms of salaries in Bacolod. This is not including the ancillary services which have benefitted from the IT-BPO growth such as hotels, restaurants, department stores, transport, medical institutions and other business because of the increase in the purchasing power of almost 35,000 Negrenses and Bacolodnons who depend on the 7,000 workers.

She said Bacolod today has the most number of sites outside of Metro Manila and Cebu accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority under its dynamic Director General Lilia De Lima.

"Half of this IT ecozones are operational and have been presidentially-proclaimed. We have 4 more major sites coming and we are praying hard it will be proclaimed before Her Excellency ends her term. These includes a 13 - hectare property - the biggest IT and Tourism Zone in Bacolod and a 50 hectare industrial economic zone in Silay City."

According to Sigue there is a need to sustain the growth by ensuring the human resource requirement of the industry as she praised the achievements of the president's Cyber Corridor Region.

"With the coming elections, the future may look uncertain but with example that we showed today, we know as a country now united under the Cyber Corridor Region - we can brave the days ahead. Thank you to all our leaders and to Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo." (PIA-LOL) [top]

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