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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Joel Mari Yu returns as Tomas’ consultant

THE former head of the defunct Cebu Investment Promotions Center (CIPC) Joel Mari Yu is scheduled for a comeback next month.

Not to bring back CIPC, he said, but to become the Cebu City “pointman” for business and economic development matters under the administration of incoming Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

“You will hear a lot from me starting July 1, and I will assure you, no non-sense on my end,” Yu said during the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu’s press conference for its tech startup event SlingShot Philippines yesterday, where he served as one of the speakers.

Yu clarified that it is up to Osmeña to decide to reopen the 20-year-old CIPC, which was dissolved in 2013 after outgoing Mayor Michael Rama withheld funding for the office.

If it is reestablished, Yu said he will refuse to head CIPC again, emphasizing that he no longer wants to work full-time. Yu said he has “other engagements,” and one of these is being a DTI consultant.

Yu said a table inside the Office of the Mayor would serve as his space when he starts to serve as Osmeña’s economic advisor. But he’ll work based on his own schedule.

One of the economic plans Yu bared to the press yesterday is to further grow the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in the city. “We want to bring it (workers) to 200,000 as much as possible in three years,” Yu said, where the estimated employment is now at 130,000.

Aside from Yu’s expertise in investment promotions for more than four decades, he said the economic advisor is also tasked to identify the aggravating factors that discourage workers from joining the BPO industry. He initially identified problems on transportation, housing requirements, and security.

On transportation, the city is looking into the possibility of negotiating with IT Parks and BPO companies in providing shuttle services to their workers at specific hours.

The City will also look into recording inventories of lodging spaces of BPO workers in the city to come up with a standard rate for these spaces so BPO workers can get a better deal.

Security matters are also one of the top concerns like theft and robbery, where BPO workers are the common targets. “We want to stop it and we want to know where it is happening and how prevalent it is,” Yu said.

“The idea is to make it very easy for them,” he added.
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