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Freeman Region

Cebu IT/BPM leaders push for representation in Congress

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu’s Information Technology/ Business Process Outsourcing (IT/BPM) stakeholders have stepped up in asserting the industry’s relevance in the country’s economic make up.

 “We are one of the top economic drivers of our country yet it seems that no one understands us, hear our needs, and look after our welfare. We have lots of issues and challenges but we don’t know where to turn for help,” said Joslyn Canon, director for community relations at Qualfon Philippines Inc.

For this reason, Canon, along with other leaders in IT/BPM sector in Cebu expressed their vocal support to put someone from the industry inside the government’s law making body, through Bangon Philippine Outsourcing Inc.(BPO) Partylist in its historic quest to represent call center workers, IT professionals, and online freelancers among others in the halls of Philippine Congress.

Represented by call center owner, IT/BPM sector and business leader Mike Cubos, Canon said it is ironic that despite what the sector has done in terms of economic contribution to the country, “we don’t have a platform to bring our concerns in the national level.

“Given the contribution to the GDP and its major economic impact, it’s surprising that only in 2022 will there be a formal representation of the BPO sector in Congress,” said Ryan Tan Yu, owner of Mataverse, a homegrown corporation that specializes in the application of Virtual Reality (VR) in business and tourism.

Gerald Yuvallos, President and CEO of AtoX Business Solutions, and Kimson Wong, Managing Director of KODA Kollectiv Inc., echoed Tan Yu’s sentiments saying “It is about time this sector, which is one of the top employment and economic contributors of the country, get real representation in government.”

“The BPO sector has grown strong and now ready to attempt a seat in Congress. This is the beginning of the work and effort to better the lives of those it represents through the government,” Wong added.

For the very first time since the partylist election was first contested in the country’s political arena back in 1998, a band of well-meaning individuals under the banner of BPO Partylist (#120 in the official ballot) will make a bold attempt to represent the Information Technology-BPO sector in the national government come the May 2022 elections.

Cubos, in a separate interview said, he is pursuing various programs for the people such as access to free call center training specially for solo parents and displaces workers to each LGU, free internet access specially in urban areas, more IT, call center and online jobs, and protection for online freelancers.

 The BPO Partylist’s target for the economy is as relevant and proactive as it is committed to push for homegrown BPO entrepreneurship and incubation, countryside development, and innovation and digital cities to name a few.

On the other end, the trio were unanimous in admitting that there are a lot of problems from the IT-BPO circle that needs to be addressed by the government. Having said that, they fervently hope that the industry will be accorded with the long overdue support in the near future.

“These (problem/concern) varies from company to company but as an example, it doesn’t get the same amount of attention and support as the tourism sector. This, despite providing a much more stable and linear contribution to the economy. It has proven to be more resilient and has been providing more stable jobs despite the pandemic and calamities,” Yuvallos pointed out.

Highly motivated by what they aspire for, these industry leaders pledged to make the necessary steps to advance the cause and help the advocacy of the BPO Parylist, which is their brightest chance to have a solid voice in the Congress.

CONGRESS

IT

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