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The Franciscan Youths (YOUFRA) of Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor: Feeling triumphant after giving their share to the community. Tree planting and clean up activities are one of the regular activities of these youth to help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change following their weekly formation at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Enrique Villanueva, Siquijor. (pia-siquijor/Rizalie Anding Calibo)
Central Visayas Region

PIA Press Release
Friday, January 06, 2012

NegOr BPO industry jobs await skilled Dumaguete graduates

by Jennifer Catan-Tilos

DUMAGUETE CITY, Jan. 6 (PIA) -- Dumaguete’s Information and Communications Technology- Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO) industry has assured students in Negros Oriental and neighboring provinces for the availability of more jobs for them.

Board Sec. Danah Fortunato of ICT Dumaguete said the ICT group here expressed the positive prospect of employment of graduates to the administration of Dumaguete City’s Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) at an ICT-BPO Industry Forum for Educators held recently at SPi Global’s facilities in barangay Bagacay.

The forum aimed to recognize the valuable contribution of HEIs to the success of BPO companies in the city and be the de facto beginning of a closer partnership between HEIs.

The activity also focused BPOs in bridging the gap between the skills of graduates and the entry level skills required in the industry, as reflected in the relatively low passing or hiring rates.

ICT Dumaguete president, Randolf Bandiola said that ICT-BPO jobs are not merely about “answering phone calls”, even though by the end of 2010 the Philippines had surpassed India in the number of voice jobs.

In Dumaguete, ICT-BPO jobs are currently in customer management, copyediting, graphics, animation, web design, software programming, architecture, market research, medical transcription, and engineering.

Meanwhile, companies involved in other non-voice work like legal research and accounting services are checking out the city’s business conditions.

Guest speaker Dr. Jeff Sallaz, Fulbright Scholar and Professor of Sociology of the University of Arizona, said the industry could be a way for Negros Oriental “to leapfrog from an Agricultural Economy straight into the Information Economy”.

Sallaz cited BPOs have drawn most foreign direct investments in the country from 2000 to 2010, thus reversing the lack of investment and manufacturing growth in the 70s and 80s.

Income derived from the industry, he said, are welcome additions to an economy that is “too dependent on agriculture and remittances”.

Worldwide, BPOs is rapidly growing industry where the Philippines uniquely poised to increase employment from 500,000 individuals in 2010 to 1.3M by 2016, he said.

Fortunato said ICT Dumaguete projected the availability of more than 2000 jobs in Dumaguete’s BPOs in 2011 alone. The reality, however, is that only about half of those positions were set to be filled by the end of 2011 because the critical factors mentioned above kept the hiring rate at around 20 to 30 percent. (PIA/JCT)

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