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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, July 13, 2013
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Marañon: Neg. Occ. should benefit
from growth in ICT-BPO industry

Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. yesterday expressed elation over recent reports from international news networks that the country is now the “call center capital of the world”, a press release from Capitol said.

The British Broadcasting Corp. and the US-based Cable News Network rendered a series of features recently citing the 30 to 35 percent growth of the country’s Information and Communications Technology-BPO sector, while that of India, that used to be known as the call center capital, shrunk to an all-time low of only between 10 to 15 percent.

The same reports indicated that most American firms prefer the Philippines as destination of locators because the country is the second biggest English speaking nation after the US.

“This only shows that our ICT Utilization Program under the Negros First is in the right direction. With this steady rise in the demand for call center agents and state-of-the-art ICT complexes in the country as new economic zones, then Negros Occidental must benefit from this positive trend,” Marañon said.

Negros Occidental and its capital, Bacolod City, are among the Top 3 destinations for ICT-BPO locators in central Philippines, and Marañon said all the more that the local government, like the province, must provide a conducive business environment that will not only encourage the private sector to invest, but also respond to the call of the national government to promote PPPs or, the public-private sector partnerships.

Marañon had initiated the establishment of the Negros First CyberCentre, a modern IT facility that is intended to eventually transform the historic Paglaum Sports Complex into a mini “Silicon Valley”.

The establishment of the Cyber Centre is expected to generate 20,000 indirect employment opportunities to Negrenses and 6,000 more direct jobs for call center agents with combined incomes of close to P1 billion, the press release said.

The ground floor of the NFCC offers 105 commercial spaces but to date, more than 120 potential concessionaires are lining up to rent, while the second and third levels are intended for ICT-BPO locators, Marañon told Sangguniang Panlalawigan members in a briefing he made late last week with ICT volunteer-consultant and Bacolod City councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue.

Marañon said the target of completion for the CyberCentre is in December 2013 at the earliest, although the Sanggunian is yet to approve the P180 million additional loan for its phase two, the press release added.*

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