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Philippines Shares ICT Council Model to Guatemalan Cities

Atty. Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the Main Speaker at the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry, Guatemala City

The steady creation of huge employment enabled by information and communications technology (ICT) in cities outside of Metro Manila has caught international attention recently as Philippine industry leaders were invited to speak in Guatemala.

Co-founder and former president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Jocelle Batapa-Sigue was invited as the main speaker during the 1st Annual Convention of the Contact Center and BPO Industry in Guatemala City on November 23, 2017. 

Also invited as resource speaker was Jose Mari Mercado, former president of the Information Technology Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president and current national technology officer of Microsoft Philippines 

In their invitation to Batapa-Sigue, organizer BPO Guatemala said that “the creation of intermediate cities has become a country priority for Guatemala since 2016, with both government and private sector working together to create a new competitiveness agenda of the country. However, despite having a clear understanding on what the benefits and contributions of tier 2 cities are, there is a deep lack of knowledge on how to do it and what steps need to be taken, as to who are the main actors and key players are, and what actions each stakeholder must take”.

During the conference and a special workshop design for intermediate cities on November 24,  2017, Batapa-Sigue shared the ICT Council model of Bacolod and NICP in general. She highlighted the need for academe, government and private sector to generate jobs and investments and drive innovation to the countryside.

BPO Guatemala highlighted the organizational mission of NICP in “promoting foreign and local investment while pursuing balanced development, as well as transforming the Philippines into a customer-oriented and competitive provider for global services” as having very essential value to them. 

BPO Guatemala considered the inputs of Batapa-Sigue as a unique opportunity to benefit and learn from her experience in the evolution of Bacolod City as a “center of excellence” for information technology and business process management operations in 2013, as declared by the Department of Science and Technology, as well as making Bacolod part of the Tholons International Top 100 Cities in the World since 2010.  

Mercado highlighted how do the intermediate cities contribute to the development and competitiveness of a country and the role of the industry in helping drive jobs to the Tier 2 cities.

During the workshop attended by various cities in Guatemala, Batapa-Sigue outlined the benefits of all stakeholders doing their share in a spirit of collaboration, pointing out the main actors in the development of intermediate cities.

She commended the Philippine Next Wave Cities program of IBPAP and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) which provided the intermediate cities criteria which are talent, costs, infrastructure and business environment for the cities to work on improving.

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