During a capabilities development conference held in Naga City Friday, July 29, members of the Iriga Rinconada ICT Council led by Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Alfelor identified specific steps to create more awareness on ICT in their area, engage all stakeholders, especially the academe and business sectors, to develop Iriga's ecosystem for ICT-enabled jobs.
The lady mayor called on the members of the ICT council to unite and help the city generate more jobs as national real estate developers like SM and Ayala turn their sights on Iriga.
This is in response to the overall challenge of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), the national network of ICT councils, to reach the 1 million mark in ICT jobs under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In special briefing to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, NICP officers led by Wilfredo Sa-a, Jr. of the Cebu Educational Foundation for Information Technology (CEDFIT), NICP committed to push for an additional 600,000 jobs in the next years to add yo the existing 400,000 jobs now found outside of Metro Manila.
The current number is only about thirty percent of the total ICT jobs in the Philippines, where seventy percent are concentrated in Metro Manila.
NICP trustee and ICT council mentor, Jocelle Batapa Sigue of the Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for ICT (BNEFIT), facilitated the workshop in Iriga where stakeholders collectively aspired to become one of the centers for excellence in ICT development and services in Luzon by harnessing their talent force and establishing ICT centers accredited with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), among other strategies.
Former Iriga mayor Ronald Felix Alfelor is his city's ICT champion as he envision a local economy that has 24/7 capabilities to host global services. Alfelor showcased a an operational 35-seater business process management facility in the center of Iriga where they pioneered call center services.
Iriga's strength lies in size of its talent pool with the presence of 2 universities, 6 colleges, 1 state college, and 8 technical vocational schools, says Alfelor.