Freeman Cebu Business

IT industries in CV up by 20% in 2011

- Ehda Dagooc - The Philippine Star

CEBU, Philippines - Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled industries in Central Visayas, dominated by the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, grew by 20 percent in 2011 and is expected to further accelerate this year.

Cebu Investment and Promotions Center (CIPC) said the IT/BPO growth in Cebu is only being constrained by the lack of manpower availability, as companies which have existing operations here, including those that have expressed interest to locate in the province alone would roughly need at least 100 thousand people, more is required if the count will include the manpower need regionwide.

In a report released by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA-7), Cebu’s IT and IT enabled services, including BPO activities, continued to expand in the in the region at an average of annual rate of 20 percent.

In Cebu, which is the IT/BPO hub of Central Visayas, the number of IT/BPO service providers grew by 2040 percent for the last 11 years, or from four companies in the year 2000 to more than a hundred companies as of 2011.

With the escalation in the number of providers, Tholon’s has ranked Cebu as the 9th emerged outsourcing destination in the world.

Because of Cebu’s confidence to do more, stakeholders are now working on effective strategies how to increase its rank, going up to the 5th place outsmarting the top five emerged destinations, most of them are cities located in India.

In 2011, the IT/BPO industry saw the entry of new providers as well as the expansion of the physical and manpower resources of existing providers.

Outsourcing companies such as Aegis and Convergys added new facilities to accommodate their increasing number of transactions.

Other IT/BPO companies such as HP, Fluor Daniels, Dell and JP Morgan Chase also expanded during the year with an addition in manpower.

By end of 2011, the total workforce of IT/BPO companies in the region was estimated at more than 65,000.

This number continues to expand as IT/BPO companies account for 40 percent of positions posted in a jobs listing website in 2011.

While the IT/BPO industry has been recognized as a major source of local employment, it has also become a major player in the export sector.

In 2011, the value of export sales made by IT/BPO companies located in the region totaled US$1.25 billion.

Recently, CIPC announced its plan to lead an intensive marketing promotion together with players in Cebu’s outsourcing sector, to mount an outside of Cebu events to invite people from other areas in Southern Philippines to migrate to Cebu and enter into the promising outsourcing jobs.

Yu said that it is high time for Cebu to mount a unified effort to got to other areas in the neighboring provinces to invite people to transfer and work here.

According to Yu, if Cebu will not move now, it the opportunity may slip, and be taken to other destinations, which threatens the bid of Cebu becoming one of the top five emerged outsourcing destinations in the world.

“We can get dislodge not because of our capability but other better place may come in, or other countries may have worked hard and provide better destination and ample number of manpower,” Yu said.

At present, Cebu has hit the 70 thousand manpower count in the entire BPO sector. Companies are needing at least 100 thousand more people in the next two years. (FREEMAN)

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