New group takes charge of Davao’s ICT backlogs

ICT Davao, composed of leaders of 10 of the city's IT-enabled industries, vowed to push the city's goal to be a hub for information technology in Mindanao and the rest of the country.

Manolito Tee, ICT Davao president, said they will lead efforts to consolidate the city's IT stakeholders, iron out issues, and address issues affecting the city's IT industry.

He said they will push forward an action plan that will hasten synergy among IT-enabled industry associations to work as one Davao community.

ICT Davao hailed from an ICT council created four years ago, which met organizational problems. Tee said it reached a point where it became unhealthy for the industry's goals.

ICT Davao is composed of Tee's Association of Computer Businesses in Mindanao (ACBMI), Association of Solution Integrators in Davao, Council of Deans and IT Educators, Corporate ICT Association of Davao, DabaweGNU, Davao Inventors Association, Internet Café Association of Davao, Transcription Alliance of Davao, Philippine Society of IT Educators XI, and Council of Deans of Engineering.

Tee and other officials took oath Wednesday in a café at the Damosa IT-park, the first IT complex granted approval for an accreditation at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

The induction was held in time for the Techno Kapihan forum, a monthly informal gathering of the city's IT stakeholders, including government agencies.

NCCC Malls' Eriberto Barriga, ICT Davao internal vice president, said there is still a lot of work to be done for Davao's ICT industry to shape up.

"We seek everybody's support in this task as we are not yet fully equipped," he said.
Tee said they will raise funds to help consolidate stakeholders first so they can get their act together and move forward with one direction in mind.

He said they will also focus on profiling the industry players in the city through a survey study as part of data banking efforts. He said they will come out with a directory of industry players and a profile of local IT professionals, one of important information required by IT investors.

ICT Davao also proposed more training programs for ICT professionals here and abroad.

Tee vowed to support the holding of the 6th Mindanao ICT Congress, an annual congress organized by the Mindanao Business Council in partnership with a local host business group or chamber.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry will host this year's congress, where industry players from the East ASEAN Growth Area are expected to take part.

EAGA comprises Brunei, East Indonesia, East Malaysia and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines.

Tee said they plan to hold a Davao ICT Congress to gather local stakeholders.

Oliver Robillo, ICT cluster chair of the regional economic development council, said the group will now be the lead implementing agency of the five-year regional ICT cluster plan, where Davao was identified as focused area.

The regional ICT plan was only one of the eight formulated for the region.

Robillo noted, however, they are yet to assess which part of the plan has been achieved since it was formulated by the public-private sector council in 2005.

Wit Holganza, who belongs to the city’s transcription industry and is currently the external vice president of ICT Davao, said they will use the cluster plan as basis in formulating the action plan.