IBPAP plans partnerships with Metro Manila mayors

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - September 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) plans to collaborate with Metro Manila mayors to implement programs for skills upgrading of available talent pool and find ways to help promote the growth of the information technology – business process management (IT-BPM) sector amid a ban on new ecozones in the National Capital Region (NCR).

IBPAP president Rey Untal told reporters he is holding meetings with mayors of certain cities in Metro Manila to discuss what can be undertaken to push for the growth of the IT-BPM sector.

Among the local chief executives he would be meeting this week are Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso.

Untal said for Quezon City, IBPAP is looking at the possibility of implementing an upskilling program with the local government.

For Manila, he said the discussion would cover undertaking an upskilling program, as well as exploring how the IT-BPM sector could grow in the city which hosts only one business process outsourcing (BPO) firm at present.

“We know BPO has a very positive effect in the ecosystem. When there is a BPO, there’s multiplier effect. That can be really transformative for Manila also,” he said.

IBPAP is meeting with other mayors as the group would like to find ways to push the growth of the IT-BPM sector following the ban on new economic zones in Metro Manila.

Last June, the Office of the President (OP) issued Administrative Order 18 which imposed a moratorium on the processing of new economic zones in Metro Manila to promote growth and development in the countryside.

Following the imposition of the ban, IBPAP earlier called for the proclamation of pending ecozone applications in Metro Manila with the OP as the remaining Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) - accredited office space would not be enough for the forecasted 450,000-square meter annual demand for new space of the IT-BPM sector.

There are 22 applications for ecozone developments in Metro Manila awaiting presidential proclamation, while 131 applications for ecozone developments in Metro Manila have been approved by PEZA, but yet to be endorsed to the OP.

Even as the ban on new economic zones in Metro Manila is in effect, Untal said all is not lost as the industry is hopeful the pending applications with the OP would be approved.

He also said putting up buildings in existing PEZA-accredited IT parks could create new capacity for the IT-BPM industry.

After Quezon City and Manila, he said the IBPAP would also want to engage with mayors of other cities in the NCR such as Makati and Taguig.

Earlier, PEZA made a request to the OP to exempt the cities of Manila, San Juan, Marikina, Las Piñas, Malabon, Caloocan, Pateros, Valenzuela and Navotas from the ongoing ban on new economic zones in Metro Manila as such either do not have any or just host one IT park.

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