ICT players await PGMA’s SONA speech

Jul. 20, 2009

DAVAO CITY — ICT (information and communications technology) industry players and stakeholders will be tuning in to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s State-of-the-Nation Address (Sona) for her pronouncements on the economy particularly on the IT sector.

Andre Fournier, chair of the ICT committee of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) said that any pronouncement by the President would be an add-on to the IT roadmap which the group will be preparing.

“The President has been very supportive of the ICT industry.” Fournier said, citing Arroyo’s IT policy which allowed the industry to grow and flourish recording a 4.8 billion dollar market share in outsourcing operations and employing a total of 650,000 workers.

A week after the President’s Sona on July 27, IT stakeholders from Davao, including the Commission of ICT (CICT) will have a summit to create a roadmap of a short to medium term plan for Davao’s IT industry.

A study by the CICT lists Davao as the 4th most preferred investment destination for business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in the country . BPO operations in the city are on the rise despite the ongoing global recession. The industry currently employs 6,000 workers locally, with job demand steadily growing as several big-ticket BPO players are expanding operations while others are moving in to the city, with the opening of the Ayala and Robinson IT parks.

Fournier said that government’s policy towards IT has contributed to the growth of the sector.

Arroyo was recently cited by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines for her support to the industry. Among the concrete government initiatives cited by the group are the PEZA (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) incentives, CICT (Commission on Information and Communications Technology) formation and the 50-million peso scholarship fund for call center training.

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