The City of Santa Rosa under the leadership of Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas has achieved great length in Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) development. The ICT sector shows promising potential in terms of boosting the service sector with forward and backward linkages on the local economy providing jobs and income to the local labor force. At present, there are three world class contact center companies (Convergys, Teletech, and KGB in the city. These companies as equal opportunity employers provide high standard salary and fringe benefit packages.
A Fast Growing Industry - IT-BPO Road Map 2011-2016: Driving Global Leadership
In the "IT-BPO Road Map 2011-2016: Driving Global Leadership" released by Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the BPO sector is projected to generate revenues at $25 billion and a workforce of 1.3 million by 2016. The BPAP roadmap identified 5 priority activities - standards and accreditation to ensure a better match between the skills of graduates with the requirements of industry; aggressive internal marketing of the industry to the local talent pool; strengthening awareness of the Philippine value proposition in IT, voice and non-voice BPO services in existing and new markets; advocating high impact public policies; and strengthening our Public-Private Partnership with government to fund key programs such as study-to-work training program.
City of Santa Rosa –Recognized with Distinction, Nationally and Globally in ICT
The continuous aggressive promotion of the city in the ICT sector led BPAP, the Department of Science and Technology – Information, Communication and Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to recognize and award Santa Rosa as the top city in the “Next Wave Cities” starting 2008. The city consistently bagged the top three next wave cities ranking years thereafter. Next wave cities were chosen using a scorecard evaluating the next viable locations for BPOs outside of Metro Manila.
Tholons, a leading full-service Strategic Advisory firm for Global Outsourcing and Investments that provides location analysis and strategic growth and expansion services for outsourcing providers and buyers, ranked the City of Santa Rosa as the 86th city among the top 100 destinations worldwide for information technology and business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) services in January 2012. The analysis and rankings was based on both qualitative and quantitative assessment specifically on the (1) scale and quality of workforce, (2) business catalyst, (3) cost, (4) infrastructure, (5) risk profile, and (6) quality of life.
Region’s Model in ICT Development
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) thru its National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP) identified and chose the City of Santa Rosa as the pilot city considered in the DTI – IVA region plan in ICT development. DTI Region IV-A Director Malou Toledo emphasized that the success of the Regional Plan depends on the accomplishments of the pilot city. Technical assistance and resources by the Japanese Government is expected to pour in the pilot program and the city is well positioned to maximize this opportunity pursuing its agenda in ICT development.
Santa Rosa - Host of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), 2012 with an International Dimension
The City will host the 5th NICP Summit this November 22-23, 2012. The theme of the summit is Global Competitiveness through ICT: The City of Santa Rosa Experience, highlighting the Santa Rosa’s journey towards reaping the benefits of ICT development. The summit will be attended by members of the NICP composed of different ICT councils in the country, members of the Region IV-A ICT Council, academe, local and foreign chamber of commerce, members of BPAP and the Call Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP), real estate developers, among others. The summit will be held at the newly constructed Monochrome Convention Center at NUVALI and the Enchanted Kingdom.
The summit will discuss the opportunities and challenges of the ICT sector from macro to micro setting. It will also showcase programs on how to maximize these opportunities and the possible role of the government, private sector and civil society in pursuing ICT development. The target keynote speaker for the first day is none other than His Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.
The second day of the summit will be mostly plant tour for the participants with emphasis on presenting the good experience of present locators in the city and will conclude at Enchanted Kingdom for the closing ceremony. A simultaneous localized activity will be held in the Monochrome building with job fairs and exhibits with the participation by the academe, students and BPO companies. Also ICT career opportunity awareness and orientation to students and parents will be conducted during the forum.
Definitely, the summit will further promote the city as the ideal location for ICT- BPO companies convincing them to invest and locate in Santa Rosa focused on non-voice industry such as animation, back office work, medical and legal transcription, software development and engineering services. Providing BPO companies with the needed “after care services” will bring concrete results. The summit and other ICT programs of the city is being supported by Mr. Benedict Hernandez, BPAP President; Ms. Gigi Virata, BPAP Executive Director, Secretary Mario Montejo of DOST; Undersecretary Alejandro Melchor III of DOST-ICTO, the event organizer - Media Focus, among others.
More than a Next Wave City – Santa Rosa soon to become an ICT Center of Excellence
Santa Rosa is presently vying to be recognized as the next ICT Center of Excellence consistently belonging to the top three Next Wave City for the past years. Among the activities of the city distinguishing it from other cities includes the establishment of the Technology Business Incubator (TBI) for start-up BPO companies interested to grow and expand later. Other activities are the conduct of the Science cum ICT Expo in cooperation with the Philippine Science Foundation; the implementation of the animation education and training for the students of the Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School assisted by the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI) and BPAP; the DepEd managed ICT Learning facility, Capability Building Courses; and the conduct of the Laguna ICT Education Summit.
Similar to the PEZA funded TBI in UP Diliman, the Santa Rosa TBI to be located at Nuvali with the support of Ayala Land, PEZA, DOST-Information Communication and Technology Office (ICTO), DOST-Technology Resource Center (TRC). The TBI will also accommodate the BPO Centrum conceived by BPAP. The Centrum is an interactive facility wherein students and enthusiasts will have the chance to find out more about the potential IT-BPO careers, understand what skills are required, how to acquire theses skills at levels of expertise required by the industry and how to gain access to these opportunities. The Centrum will also serve as venue for budding ICT related entrepreneurs renting affordable spaces, venue for ICT council meetings, job trainings, and continuous ICT jobs fair.
The Science cum ICT Expo scheduled on August 20 to September 21, 2012 at Robinson’s Place is a joint undertaking of the City of Santa Rosa, Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A (DOST IV-A), Department of Education (DepEd) Division of Santa Rosa, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA)- Laguna, and PUP Santa Rosa Extension. The objective of the activity is to showcase the talents in science and ICT and at the same time provide awareness of ICT-related career opportunities to students. The expo will include science and ICT exhibits, competitions and forum. Target participants are students from primary to tertiary level in the City of Santa Rosa and neighboring cities and municipalities.
As a potential candidate for the Galing Pook Award in 2013, an animation education and training project will be launched by the Santa Rosa Science and Technology High School students. The training will enable students develop their skills and knowledge for the animation industry as well as to instill the values of entrepreneurship. A DepEd managed ICT Learning facility primarily funded by the city government located in Central 2 with numerous desktop computers are available for ICT trainings of public school students as well as a venue for ICT related programs of the city.
The city also recognizes the need to prepare the labor force in the promising rewards of ICT careers and opportunities. SP Resolution No. 103-2011 entitled “A Resolution requesting the City Mayor to commission the City Planning and Development Coordinator, City PESO, City Manpower and Training Center and Provincial TESDA in coordination with the Santa Rosa ICT locators to formulate an ICT Employment Preparedness Training Program” was passed last June 13, 2011.
The Laguna ICT Education Summit was conceptualized in collaboration with Laguna Industry Network for Knowledge, Innovation and Technology (LINK IT) headed by its President - Mr. Antonio Del Carmen, Board Member of the NICEP. The activity aims to gather all members of the academe in Metro Laguna and discuss with them the opportunities of the ICT Sector. Among the output of the summit will be a curriculum matched with the needs of the industry, increased tie-ups of schools with BPO companies, and enhanced local support to the city’s hosting of the 5th NICP Summit on November.
ICT Development – Key to Inclusive Growth in the City of Santa Rosa
Inclusive growth is a fast-paced, broad based pattern of sustainable growth. The fast paced growth will be attained primarily through increase in productive employment. In order to promote increase employment, greater than ever investments focused in providing work/employment opportunities and labor skills development is needed.
One of Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas’ Pillar of Development is an increase in productive employment. The ICT sector promises a bright future in employment creation in the years to come. With the city’s aggressive efforts in ICT promotion and development spearheaded by the City Planning and Development Office, supported by the dedicated leadership by the City Mayor and the members of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, the objective of inclusive growth is only an arms-length away from the city’s development agenda.
Congratulations to the City of Santa Rosa! The best of the best is yet to come for us! (Danilo C. Pablo, City Planning and Development Coordinator)