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DICT, IBPAP, Leechiu pick 25 cities as next IT-BPM hubs

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), and Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) on Tuesday unveiled 25 cities which can be transformed as IT-business process management (IT-BPM) hubs in the next five years.

During a virtual forum on Tuesday, the DICT, IBPAP, and LPC launched the Digital Cities 2025 initiative which aims to drive inclusive growth in the countryside through the selection of high-potential areas throughout the country and transforming them into IT-BPM centers.

The 25 cities selected by the three organizations were based on certain parameters for investors and locators such as talent availability, infrastructure, cost, and business environment.

The selected cities are the following:

  • Balanga City
  • Batangas City
  • Cabanatuan City
  • Dagupan City
  • General Santos City
  • Iligan City
  • Iriga City
  • Laguna Cluster (San Pablo, Calamba, and Los Baños)
  • Laoag City
  • Legazpi City
  • Malolos City
  • Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Imus, and General Trias)
  • Metro Rizal (Taytay, Cainta, and Antipolo City)
  • Olongapo City
  • Puerto Princesa City
  • Roxas City
  • San Fernando City, La Union
  • San Fernando City, Pampanga
  • San Jose Del Monte City
  • Tacloban City
  • Tagbilaran City
  • Tarlac City
  • Tuguegarao City
  • Urdaneta City
  • Zamboanga City

Under the initiative, the selected cities will be given an opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities as viable business centers.

“Digital Cities 2025 aims to build the resiliency of the IT-BPM sector as an engine of growth for the Philippine economy. It also aims to bridge industry progress in the countryside to strengthen local economies. The 25 new locations, alongside the Centers of Excellence and established Next Wave Cities, shall serve as investment destinations for a thriving digital economy,” DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said.

The Centers of Excellence refer to cities that are already established IT-BPM hubs such as Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Clark, Bacolod City, Davao City, and Iloilo City.

New Wave Cities, meanwhile, are developing locations that support IT-BPM operations. These include the cities of Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Dasmarinas, Dumaguete, Lipa, Naga, and Sta. Rosa in Laguna.

The selected 25 cities are seen to motivate existing players to expand beyond the National Capital Region (NCR), encourage new ones to set up shop in the Philippines, and generate more opportunities for Filipinos.

“The IT-BPM sector continues to be a priority for DICT and we are ready to support and take the lead in making the necessary interventions to ensure that these digital cities achieve their potential,” DICT Assistant Secretary Emmanuel Caintic said.

“By working together with other executive agencies, local government units, industry leaders, and academic institutions, we will enable each location to grow into Centers of Excellence that spur the development of other business sectors, de-risk Metro Manila concentration, create jobs, and boost the local economy,” Caintic said.

The Digital Cities initiative focuses on institutional development, talent attraction and development, infrastructure development, and marketing and promotion.

It will also involve the strengthening of ICT councils, sharing of best practices, launching awareness campaigns, and facilitating infrastructure initiatives.

“The launch of Digital Cities 2025 is a testament to the IT-BPM industry’s resilience and enduring role as a major growth driver of the Philippine economy,” IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal said.

“The countryside remains full of untapped potential and harnessing this can lead to countless more opportunities for continued expansion and sustained growth for the sector,” Untal said.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) affecting business operations across industries, LPC CEO David Leechiu foresees a surge in IT-BPM demand once the country and the rest of the world settles into the new normal.

“Philippine IT-BPM will be instrumental in the country’s recovery from this health crisis so we need to be ready for the demand to start gaining momentum. This will be critical in how the world views us as a long-term investment versus our ASEAN neighbors,” Leechiu said.—AOL, GMA News