ICT Dumaguete open for new BPO investors

By: Roi Lomotan

DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) — The Information and Communications Technology Association of Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental (ICT Dumaguete) is inviting investors to put up their own call centers or other companies related to the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry here.

ICT Dumaguete sees no problem if BPO investors will come to the city to establish their own companies here since it will contribute to the over-all economic growth of the city.

“Everybody is free to do business here. If they are really bent on creating more jobs here in Dumaguete who are we to stop them,” ICT Dumaguete President and SPI-Global manager Suzanne Bascara said.

Ava Mojica of TeleTech Dumaguete said that there would be no issue with BPO investors coming to the city since the main differentiator will be the type of business or accounts companies handle.

“It really boils down to the type of work that these new players will bring in. If let’s say, it is still a call center but the line of business or account is solely different from what SPI, TeleTech, Lancera or Qualfon already has, then there should be no issue,” Mojica said.

These were the responses of Bascara and Mojica when asked if the association would allow more BPO investors to come to the city during a Kapihan held here today.

Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) President Ed Du raised in the forum that the business community is caught in a dilemma between protecting the interest of existing BPOs in the province and allowing new players to come in.

Du explained that if they allow new BPO investors put up their businesses here, they will be competing with existing BPO companies on hiring the small manpower pool in the province.

He noted that Negros Oriental produces 4,000 graduates a year and most of them are not enrolled in IT-related courses.

On the other hand, other members of the chamber said they should not stop new BPO companies from coming in the province.

Du disclosed that a lot of investors are coming to them to seek help in establishing their companies and for permits and incentives.

Du stressed they are putting a priority to existing call centers and other BPO companies since they know these companies are aggressive in hiring employees.

However, the ICT Dumaguete requests new investors to meet with them before putting up their companies so they can have an understanding about the community here and remind them to observe business ethics.

“The thing we will ask for is a chance to meet with them, to talk to them and have an understanding with them. And we all work towards the development of Dumaguete. Our main goal is to make Dumaguete a great place to live in where people can easily find work and do business,” Bascara said.

2014 marks the 10th year of ICT industry in the province.

Currently, there are around 20 BPO companies that have been established around Dumaguete City.

Still, the industry faces some challenges particularly in infrastructure.

Bascara said a lot of investors who come here don’t see a lot of office spaces or buildings for their companies.

She adds that even though there are land owners who would say that they will put up a building to cater to BPO companies, but the construction of these establishments would still take time and investors would like to start their businesses right away.

Bascara hopes that they will be able to reach out to the business community and inform them about this concern so that other investors can come in and start their own BPOs within the city.

Bascara remains positive that even with the present challenge on infrastructure, the ICT industry in Negros Oriental will continue to develop in the next years.

“Our industry is really on the rise and we can make it go as high as we want it to. All of us are looking forward for the next ten years of ICT industry,” Bascara said. (rmn/RAL/PIA7-NegOr)

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