THE Davao Region's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Industry Cluster has lined up two major activities that are geared toward its development.

ICT Davao Inc. president Eriberto E. Barriga Jr. said that being on top in the list of Next Wave Cities for 2010, Davao City has a lot to offer in terms of ICT products and IT services.

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Next-wave cities are key IT and business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations outside of Metro Manila which the Business Processing Association Philippines (BPA/P), in cooperation with the Commission on ICT (CICT) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recommend and support as prime outsourcing destinations in the country.

The identification of the top 10 Next Wave cities is based on four core factors -- talent pool, infrastructure, labor cost, and business environment.

"This is excluding Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Clark since these cities are also included in the Hall of Fame. This achievement of the city really poses a great opportunity for us because it means that IT and BPO investors are really keen in investing here," he said.

The other cities listed, according to rank, are Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Bacolod, Iloilo, Metro Cavite, Lipa in Batangas, Cagayan de Oro, Malolos in Bulacan, Baguio, and Dumaguete in Negros Oriental.

With this, Barriga said, the local ICT industry must be boosted further by implementing projects that will support the award.

Under the Davao Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (DICCEP), a project of the DTI-Davao Region with funding support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), the ICT Industry Cluster will spearhead the first-ever Davao Silicon 3G!, wherein the event will focus on gulf, golf, and gulp.

"The gulf represents tourism. Golf is for the game golf because ICT people love playing golf. Gulp is for socials," Barriga said, adding that they're targeting to stage the 1st Davao Silicon 3G! in August, alongside the Kadayawan Festival of Davao City.

The other initiative to look out for is the Davao Region Geographic Information Network (DR-GIN), a geographic information system (GIS) that integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information (as defined by www.gis.com).

"The DR-GIN has already been approved by the Regional Development Council (RDC). This will serve as the virtual library of the region. With this, anyone can just easily access the topographic maps of the provinces and cities of the region," he said.

DTI-Davao Regional Director and DICCEP Director Marizon S. Loreto said that these projects will cut across different industries, thus, contributing to their economic performance.

"The 1st Davao Silicon 3G!, for instance, will benefit tourism since aside from promoting Davao City as an IT and BPO hub, it will also sell the city as well as the region as a tourism destination. Thus, Davao's position as a business and leisure preferred destination will be strengthened," she said.

Loreto said the DR-GIN, on the other hand, will help entice investors to locate in Davao since the system will provide a glimpse of why they should pour in their investments here. (DTI 11/Jenny Molbog-Mendoza)