DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 22 Oct) – At least six call center firms have expressed interest to locate in Malaybalay City, the capital of Bukidnon, a development that is seen to make the city another hub for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Mindanao, an industry executive said.
In an interview at the sidelines of the Livelihood Exchange 2018 and Innovation Summit at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao Monday, Robert Tinsay, vice chairman of the Malaybalay Information and Communication Technology Council, said that aggressive promotion of the city to attract ICT investors is now gaining traction with at least two of the call center companies expected to start operations there within the year.
He said they expect at least 1,000 jobs to be created this year and another 2,000 jobs in 2019.
The executive also hopes the other four companies will open next year.
Tinsay added representatives of these firms, both multi-national companies with operations in Cagayan de Oro City, visited Malaybalay thrice and had already identified areas where they can set up their offices.
He said they will meet again next week to forge a memorandum of agreement and for a possible signing of contract.
“The private sector is playing a role in bringing in investments in Bukidnon. We are no longer waiting for the government to initiate it… At the end of the day, we want to create jobs, it’s a private sector initiative and city government is supporting,” he said.
He said the city government and local ICT players want to give more focus on BPO this time for its potential to create more jobs.
“That’s the driver right now. What is keeping our country afloat is OFW (overseas Filipino workers) remittance but there is, I think, this year IT will replace [it],” he said.
He said the city and provincial governments are supporting the local initiative of the private sector in setting up the Malaybalay Co-Working Space, an innovation hub for startups, which opened in August this year.
“We are offering free co-working space for startups and bringing free training programs for them, equipping them,” he said.
He said the local government provided the facility with necessary hardware, internet connection, and training equipment to harness the skills of the local talents in Malaybalay.
“We want this to become a springboard to encourage locators to consider Malaybalay City, Bukidnon because the cost to operate is cheaper in Bukidnon than in major hubs like Cebu and Manila,” he said.
“And most of the BPO talents we have, it’s their wish to have a call center there so that they will no longer have to go to Cagayan, Cebu, and Manila,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)