ON OUR ninth year, the Visayas ICT Cluster Organization (Victor) under the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) will be staging the Victor Conference on August 25 to 27, 2021 with the theme “Leveraging the Visayas for Philippine Digital Transformation.” In 2012, we saw the need to enhance the role of NICP as the national digital countryside advocate by leveraging on the strengths of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao stakeholders and ecosystems, thus, the geographical cluster events were born.

With the ICT Association of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental as this year's conference chair partners with NICP and the Department of Information Communication and Technology (DICT) to bring the annual event online. Information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry leaders, prospective investors, and information and communications technology (ICT) councils from all over the Philippines will converge to learn the latest trends, developments and opportunities from ICT leaders around the country.

Victor was created to support and sustain the growth of the ICT industry in the Visayas by creating a working synergy for all ICT Councils and their respective Regional Development Councils (RDCs) and Regional Line Agencies (RLAs). Victor also seeks to promote the potential of the Visayan Islands as location for ICT-enabled jobs, opportunities and investments. The annual conference since 2012 serves as a venue for ICT Council members and all its partners to gather during the first quarter of the year to exchange notes and provide updates in support of NICP's vision. NICP works through its member ICT councils, which is generally composed of government, academe and industry to develop, implement and sustain strategies to create more jobs and drive innovation in the countryside.

The first host of Victor Conference was Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT) in 2012, ICT Association of Dumaguete and Negros Oriental in 2014, Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (Bnefit) in 2015, Capiz ICT Council in 2016, Bohol ICT Council in 2017, Aklan ICT Council in 2018, and Bogo ICT Council in 2019.

This event is ideal for local public officials, planners and key movers in the academe, private sector organizations. The first day of the conference will be about showcasing the best of Visayas' digital landscape. Lined up as key topics on the first day are the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) countryside ICT development programs and the digital transformation bills pending in the Senate. Participants shall also have the opportunity to benchmark with the best practices of Visayas Regions in investment promotions, digital tourism initiatives and health technology programs.

On the afternoon of August 25, the spotlight will be on the startup ecosystem, particularly on how to build a robust startup ecosystem in different cities from the collaborative framework of DICT, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Participants will also have the chance to listen to inspiring stories of startup founders, learn from startup ecosystem builders in the countryside and understand the role of technology business incubators (TBIs) in the startup ecosystem.

The second day will focus on building the ideal ecosystem for digital jobs in the countryside. Talks about the Republic Act No. 11032 also known as Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 by the Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta), and the Republic Act (RA) 11534, otherwise known as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (Create) by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) and the Board of Investments (BOI) are expected to take centerstage. Other important topics for the second day include as artificial intelligence, e-learning, design and creatives in the Visayas.

For more information, interested parties can visit www.facebook.com/VICTORNICP.