Increase in local demand for ICT products pushed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 September)— The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Davao, Inc. (ICT Davao) has pushed the patronage of locally developed software products among business establishments to sustain the local ICT industry.

Lizabel Holganza, ICT Davao president, said Monday at the Kapehan sa Dabaw in SM City Davao that the local sectors, especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in agri-business and tourism, among other industries, can be a big market of local ICT products.

She said that as part of the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Department of Trade and Industry here, the MSMEs are encouraged to use software applications for them be more competitive.

Ed Barriga, ICT Davao executive vice president, said that locally developed software products, which are mostly business applications such as inventory, point-of-sales, and information management system, are supporting the local industry.

“By prioritizing our local industry, it will place us in a better [competitive] position than other cities,” he told reporters.

Among the clients of local developers are the city government, some hotels and hospitals such as the Southern Philippines Medical Center, Barriga said.

The ICT Davao is also encouraging the Department of Health Region 11 to use locally-produced applications, he added.

Holganza said the value chain of business process (BPO) outsourcing industry in this city is moving up to another level.

She said that more than just contact centers or the voice sector, BPO companies have expanded to “knowledge process outsourcing,” especially that of software development.

Due to high demand of talents for the ICT industry, the ICT Davao, together with partner companies, will initiate a job fair with at least 3,500 vacancies on October 1-2 in Holy Cross Davao College gymnasium.

Barriga said that because big companies are locating here, indirect jobs are also generated such as in restaurants and other services that cater to BPO employees.

He said two call centers in this city, VXI at Robinsons Cybergate in Lanang, and Opinionology at NCCC Mall in Matina, are planning office expansions involving a total of 4,000 square meters.

Noting that Davao is positioned as the alternative of Cebu and Manila for BPO destination, Barriga said that big companies such as Stream Global, US Autoparts, Ring Central and EXL have expressed interests to locate their businesses here. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)