OTHER than Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, the government is pushing for more locations in the country to be considered preferred outsourcing destinations.
Emmy Lou Delfin, ICT industry development program manager, said the Department of Science and Technology-Information Communications Technolgy Office (DOST-ICTO) is grooming other cities, or the “next wave cities” to become part of Tholons Top 100 Outsourcing Destinations. Tholons is a consultancy firm that prepares an annual list that ranks the best cities for outsourcing worldwide.
The next wave cities identified by DOST-ICTO have excluded Metro Manila, Cebu, Bacolod, and Clark in Pampanga, since these are the country’s “centers of excellence” (COEs), having developed a mature ICT-BPM industry.
“Hopefully by the end of the year, we will announce the top 10 next wave cities,” Delfin said. She added that the top 10 cities will be promoted by the government abroad.
The next wave cities will be selected by the DOST-ICTO and the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) based on availability of talent, relevant infrastructure, connectivity through fiber optics of telecommunications networks, accessibility, cost of related factor inputs, and the business environment, including vulnerability to natural disturbances and issues related to security and safety.
In 2014, it was reported that the country’s next wave cities were Baguio City, Davao City, Dumaguete City, Iloilo City, Lipa City, Metro Bulacan (Baliuag, Calumpit, Malolos City, Marilao, and Meycauayan City), Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Dasmariñas City, and Imus City), Metro Laguna (Calamba City, Los Baños, and Sta. Rosa City), Metro Naga (Naga City and Pili), and Metro Rizal (Antipolo City, Cainta, and Taytay).
In Tholon’s 2015 ranking, three cities in the Philippines moved up several notches. These are the cities of Bacolod, Baguio and Iloilo.
From 93 in 2014, Bacolod rose to 86 in the ranking that Tholons began in 2006. From 99, Baguio City is now ranked 95, while Iloilo City rose to 91 from 95 in the 2014 ranking.
According to Delfin, of the eight cities in the Philippines that are part of Tholon’s top 100, six of them were identified as next wave cities.
Aside from the traditional ICT-BPM opportunities benefitting key cities in the country, DOST-ICTO is pushing for rural impact sourcing for the rural areas.
However, the focus is to tap online work available via online platforms like oDesk and Upwork.
Delfin said DOST-ICTO requested for a budget of P40 million for rural impact sourcing workshops to be conducted in 82 provinces starting next year. The budget is still pending at the Department of Budget and Management.
“Online work requires different kind of services. Actually, the skills are already there but teaching them how to take advantage of it is what is required,” Delfin said.
The official said there are 1.5 million Filipinos who do online work. Freelancers can be hired for jobs on app and software development, engineering and data science, creative services such as graphic design and writing, business and administrative work.