Call center opens next year in GenSan

Joji Ilagan-Bian, chair of Davao City-based SixEleven Global Services, said the company has set as top priority the immediate expansion of its call center operations in the city, which she described as an ideal investment area for the growing Information and Communication Technology industry.

"The (expansion) is already in the pipeline and right now we have started the groundworks for it," she said.

On Wednesday, Bian led the inauguration of the newly acquired facilities of SixEleven's sister company JIB e-Academy and Solutions that recently launched its call center and English language school here.

A company briefer cited that JIB e-Academy will serve as the training base for its upcoming call center operations in the city and other companies in the call center industry.

It said the school aims to provide residents who are aspiring for call center jobs with high-standard training and assessment as well as possible job placements with SixEleven and other companies.

At least 102 students from the city and the neighboring areas are presently enrolled in various training programs offered by the school.

"After they graduate, we assess them and offer those who are qualified with jobs at SixEleven or we refer them to other companies," she said.

She said the school has established links with at least 15 call centers that have operational capacities of 200 seats and below.

A group of emerging call centers, including SixEleven, recently formed an organization called Association of Filipino Call Centers and elected Bian as president.

Bian urged residents, especially those who are still unemployed, to acquire the necessary training for call center jobs due to the growing employment opportunities in the industry.

She said SixEleven, which has linked up with two clients based in Australia and Texas in the United States, is currently working on the expansion of its call center in Davao City from 32 to 64 seats.

JIB e-Academy's main school in Davao City has produced at least 500 certified call center agents, around 90 percent of whom are now reportedly employed in various call centers in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod.

"But right now, Davao call centers alone need at least 4,000 agents. Thousands more are needed by call centers in other areas," she said.

Dorecita Delima, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Region 12 assistant
director, said they are hoping that the opening of the JIB e-Academy and upcoming expansion of SixEleven's call center operations here would usher in more ICT investments in the city and various parts of Region 12.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Cotabato, Kidapawan and Tacurong.

At least seven medical transcription companies are now operating in this city and nearby Koronadal City in South Cotabato.

"This will essentially send a strong signal to some investors and the major players in the industry to take a look at the city and the rest of the region's potentials in hosting various ICT-related ventures," Delima added.