BPO to help jumpstart Eastern Visayas’ economy

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Friday, September 6, 2013


THE business processing outsourcing (BPO) sector in Eastern Visayas will become one of its leading generators on income and employment, said Kjell Daren Aboy of the of Expert Global Solutions (EGS), the largest call center company in the region.

Aboy said that with Leyte and Tacloban named as the “next wave” areas, there is no reason for the BPO sector not to help the regional economy, which largely depends on agriculture output.

At present, the BPO sector in the region employs more than 4,000 workers, whose contribution to the regional economy now stand at around P100 million annually.

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“I’m very optimistic on the employment and economic generation of the industry here in Eastern Visayas. (And at the same time,) there will be an exponential growth in the support industry like in the transportation and food (businesses),” Aboy said.

Leyte and Tacloban were earlier tagged as among the “next wave” in the BPO sector, which means both areas are now being considered as potential hubs among locators in the BPO industry.

“We’re chosen because the trend now is to expand ICT businesses beyond the usual hubs in Manila, Cebu and Davao. The region met most of the criteria to become next wave cities,” said Aboy, who also sits at the Regional Development Council representing the private sector.

Aside from an improved infrastructure, the region has a “large pool of talents” needed by the industry, Aboy said.

As recognition, the Department of Science and Technology–Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-Icto) will hold an ICT Road show next week to prepare the region for ICT investments.

Aboy, the site management and community relations assistant of EGS, said they have been supplying talents to other cities outside Eastern Visayas, an indicator that the region can meet the demand of ICT industry.

“Through ICT investment, we want to encourage our graduates not to go out but rather stay here and take advantage of opportunities,” he added.

The term “next wave cities” identifies ICT hubs beyond Manila, based on criteria such as worker supply, telecom infrastructure and other factors necessary to sustain a local BPO industry.

Aboy said there are at least 4,000 local workers hired by ICT firms. There are thousand more engaged in home-based online jobs that are not registered.

EGS, formerly known as APAC Customer Services Inc., has 1,000 employees.

“These workers earn a total of P110 million annually and 98 percent of that money is circulating in Region 8,” he added.

DOST Leyte Provincial Director John Glen Ocana said there were improvements in the region’s infrastructure such as development of ICT parks and setting up telecommunication systems in rural areas.

“We will have again another economic zone in Palo, Leyte for potential ICT locators. Malls are also offering space for ICT-related businesses,” Ocana said.

The Next Wave Cities ICT Road Show will be held from August 12 to 13 at the Tacloban City Convention Center. The DOST expects nearly 3,000 participants. Top industry leaders will speak in this event. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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