TEN business process outsourcing companies in Cebu received recognition from the Cebu City Government for their contribution to the local economy.

Accenture, Convergys, E-Performax, Lexmark, Qualfon, Sykes, Teleperformance, Telstra, Wipro, and Xerox accepted the awards from the Cebu City ICT-BPM Council (CCIBC) on Wednesday night at Lexmark Plaza 1.

CCIBC Chair and former city councillor Edu Rama said the awards were given to ICT-BPM companies in Cebu that have contributed significantly to job creation in Cebu City.

The biggest BPO employer in Cebu is Convergys, employing 13,000 workers. This is according to Jun Sa-a, executive director of the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information, who is also a member of the CCIBC.

Council member Anthony Noel said roughly 60 percent of the more than 100,000 workers today in the ICT-BPM industry in Cebu are employed by these 10 companies.

Back in 2000, there were only industry 1,200 workers in Cebu, but this tremendously grew to 95,000 in 2012. This year, industry players believe workers have reached more than a hundred thousand.

National figures show there are more than a million workers in the ICT-BPM industry.

“Cebu City will not be what it is today without the BPO,” Mayor Michael Rama told the industry players.

Likewise, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella said the 7.3 percent annual growth of Cebu City, which is higher than the national growth of 6.8 percent, is primarily attributed to the ICT-BPM industry.

Currently, Sa-a said there are 200 ICT-BPM companies in Cebu. Fifty percent of these are located in Cebu City while the others are scattered in the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

Next year, the council is planning to award ICT-BPM companies that have the biggest tax contribution to the city.

The salary of an entry-level worker in Cebu is P15,000 a month. The amount paid to 100,000 workers translates to P19.5 billion injected to the local economy per year.

To further boost this industry, Sa-a said CCIBC and IBM is conducting roadshows to some schools to encourage students to consider a career in IT.

Rama said the council will work closely with the private sector to make Cebu the number one outsourcing destination in the world. Presently, Cebu ranks eighth in the world in a list prepared by Tholons.

“Although Cebu consistently holds a prominent place in the wold’s top 100 outsourcing destinations, we should not be complacent as other cities worldwide are also working hard to climb up the ranks. There are serious competitors outside and they are promoting far aggressively than us. Therefore, we need to market more aggressively,” said Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Ma. Teresa Chan as she formally opened the first day of the ICT-BPM conference on Wednesday morning at the Cebu City Marriott Hotel.

She noted that most international outsourcing investors are no longer searching for cheap talents but for the “right supply of talents.” For Cebu to sustain its prominence or step-up its ranking, it should develop a more diverse set of IT talents, she added.