Entry of IT firm seen to boost employment in Davao’s BPM industry

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 July) — A new multi-national company will open at the Matina IT Park next month, a development that is seen to boost employment generation in the city’s Business Process Management (BPM) industry.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-Davao vice president Lizabel Holganza told reporters during the Club 888 Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao Wednesday, that the firm will occupy the first building of the IT park, the biggest in Mindanao so far.

She refused to disclose the name of the company, but added it will hire 500 workers to start the operations and 1,000 more in the next 12 months.

The firm, which offers both voice and non-voice services, will cater to the health care industry.

Project Developer Plaza de Luisa Development Inc. completed the first phase of the Matina IT park, located along McArthur Highway in Matina, just this year. Construction started in 2013.

The first building measures 7,423 square meters with a project cost of P100 million.

The developer will start constructing the second phase this year while that of the third phase will depend on the turnout of the first two buildings.

The entire development has a combined lease area of 19,790 square meters, each building having four levels.

The IT park was accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, which allows it to enjoy tax holidays for three years, business sales tax, and real property tax.

The entry of the new company is seen to boost the Davao City’s bid as a top destination for BPM.

Since 2011, the city has been topping the next wave cities for Information Technology-BPM, meaning it is an ideal alternative location for the expansion of companies operating in now congested Cebu City and Metro Manila.

“We are hoping to hire 10,000 more by 2016,” Holganza said.

The ICT Council has been active in drawing new investors in to hit its target of at least 30,000 jobs to be generated by 2016.

The council also banners the program of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) dubbed Technology for Education (Tech4Ed) that will maximize the use of technology to generate employment and promote entrepreneurship.

Tech4ED is positioned as a platform that will serve as knowledge hubs and deliver channels for exploring the opportunities through the internet.

It has two major thrusts — internet opportunities for all people and investing in people through digital literacy.

Recently, Information Communications Technology Office partnered with the Internet Cafe Association of Davao for the establishment of Tech4Ed Center that will empower more workers to seek jobs in the industry.

Next BPO Solutions president Xavier Eric Manalastas said they want Tech4Ed to become a tool to reach out more potential talents coming from the tier 2 cities and municipalities in Mindanao.

He said they want to bring the opportunities for workers outside of tier 1 cities like Davao and generate more jobs for them.

Of the 20,000 workers, he estimated that at least 20 to 30 percent are coming from the tier 2 cities. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)