Monday, August 12, 2013

Bohol “ICT readiness” 
scores 7 in scale of 10
Rey Anthony Chiu

BOHOL, Aug 12 (PIA) -–Bohol’s readiness to host information communication technology prospecting company is now at 6.5-7 in a scale of 10. 

This too, as Bohol Provincial Government adds, Information Technology among its identified economic drivers Health, Education, Agriculture and Tourism. 

In 2012, IT-Business Process Outsourcing in the Philippines generated more than $13 billion in revenues, an increase of $2 billion from the $11 billion in 2011. 

Wanting to get a share of these revenues for Bohol, local leaders have pried Bohol for its hosting of a potential hub for BPO in the Visayas, putting up measures to increase Bohol’s attractiveness to such industry. 

The more than average assessment is just a few of the results of the effort. 

Recently, National ICT Council and the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) used a set of scorecards to rate Bohol’s readiness to accept locators compared to other areas in the country aspiring to host BPO locators, according to Bohol ICT Council chairman Leah Tirol-Magno, speaking at Kapihan sa PIA. 

Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC) chief Maria Fe Dominese also confirmed the readiness rating stating that Bohol graduates 5,000 talents and skills annually and has the needed business infrastructure in buildings and communications companies with fiber optic connections to major ICT hubs.

The smooth-talking Dominese added that Bohol’s Investment Code has made it possible to set up a good enabling business environment which has also contributed to cutting to reasonable costs, doing business here. 

Both leading investment promotions champions for Bohol, Magno and Dominese has also cited Tagbilaran City’s attaining a major milestone in BPO when the Department of Science and Technology accorded to it the honor of being among the emerging next wave cities in the country. 

BIPC also shared that, in a present status and capabilities presentation, a telecommunication company she did not name, said they could immediately provide for a 10,000 seat BPO center.

A 10,000 seat call center also means 10,000 Boholanos directly employed. 

Who can be hired? Magno said BPO uses a huge base of professions and a high proficiency in English language is a huge edge. Even a two year college course can land one to a spot, Magno pointed out. 

Citing national statistics, she said about 11 for every 100 Boholano talents could easily slip into these job seats, also a high rating compared to the national average of only 7 jobs in every 100 seekers. 

Moreover, the petite IC technogeek added, every ICT worker hired would create an additional 2.5 to 3.5 workers and the call center agent would have a monthly average of P3,000 to splurge to other products and services over his usual spending for his needs. 

To showcase Bohol’s readiness to host BPO, the ICT national summit will be held here in November, Magno shared.

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50 seat call center to
Start operations here
Rey Anthony Chiu

BOHOL, Aug 12 (PIA) – A Manila-based off-shoring company is now finalizing its rental agreements and will soon put up a job fair to scout for 50 workers for Tagbilaran City’s first out of town call center within the month. 

Contineo Offshoring Solutions, Inc., was so intent in putting up shop here they were even willing to forego renting a Philippine Economic Zones Authority (PEZA)-accredited building facility which could give the off-shoring company fiscal and non fiscal incentives, Bohol Information Communication Technology Council chair Leah Tirol Magno said. 

Finding Bohol a fairly good venue after the National ICT Council, which foresees all local councils, granted Tagbilaran City and the next emerging cities for Business Process Outsourcing, Sharon Balingit led a Contineo team, to call on City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II to transmit their intent. 

Contineo, accompanied by DTI-Bohol Provincial Director Nannette Arbon, visited the Mayor last Friday, August 2, 2013 at the Tagbilaran City Hall. 

During the meeting, Balingit told the mayor that her company is set to start operations sometime in September, and thus she is asking for the city government’s support in terms recruitment, tax shield and facilitation in the processing of registration requirements and business permits. 

Mayor Yap also excitedly welcomed the development even as he assured the company of the city government’s support in the granting of tax incentives, facilitation in the issuance of permits and licenses as well as in the recruitment process. 

Contineo, through Balingit also specifically requested the Mayor’s help in the conduct of jobs fair at the Tagbilaran City Hall sometime this month. 

When it will open business in September, Contineo Offshoring Solutions Inc. will initially start with 50 seats however, the number will be expanded to a thousand seats in the immediate future. 

It was not clear however if the 50 seat-call center operates on two or three shifts, as the job generation could even double or triple. 

The company will handle customer care for clients in the United Kingdom and thus expects local hires to be fluent in conversational English.

According to DTI Director Nannette Arbon, this is good news and very timely because in November, Bohol will be hosting the 6th National ICT Councils of the Philippines Summit (NICP Summit), where various industry locators and investors are expected to attend. 

“It is a perfect opportunity for Bohol to be showcased as the next IT-BPO location in the country and we are thankful to the provincial and city governments for supporting the ICT industry here,” says Director Arbon.

It may be recalled that Tagbilaran City was recently awarded by DOST-ICT Office and the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPAP) as the emerging next wave city in the country.

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Promote “more fun” Bohol foto 
memes via your android phones
Rey Anthony Chiu

BOHOL, Aug 12 (PIA) –Promoting Bohol the easy way can be as easy as one, two three, wacky! And it’s going to be more fun. 

With a free downloadable application available for android phones available at Googleplus, one only needs an an eye for nice shots, wit or catchy phrases.

Through this, showcasing the best of Bohol and the Boholanos, needs no techno-savvy iphone wielding nerd. 

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has provided a window for tourists and non tourists to unwittingly spread the word about the best places they have been into.

In its “It’s More Fun In the Philippines” campaign, enterprising product marketers have developed a personal mama maker template, shares former Makati Business Club president and National Competitive Council (NCC) private sector representative.

Guillermo Luz, during a Department of Trade and Industry-facilitated NCC Roadshow, hints keeping the competitive edge of a place demands careful look at the statistics and a brilliant use of promotions. 

Luz’s enlightening statement came as Bohol officials reeled from the reports of a current slump in tourist arrivals in the province.

This, several ascribe to as an effect of the lesser flights here and non reliable recording system which fed statisticians faulty data used for the comparative figures in Bohol’s hotel occupancy. 

But, not discounting the fact that there is also a massive need to saturate promotions, Luz said making use of “Its More Fun in the Philippines” meme could boost global awareness for a destination like Bohol. 

With billions of people search the internet for things to do and places to visit, getting the proper links can bring Bohol to these lost souls, Luz said. 

The ease of internet access through wireless fidelity (WIFI) hotspots almost everywhere, tourists who usually take digital pictures of their vacation can download “Its More Fun In the Philippines” android application and find every available internet wifi access to share their personal memes to the global info traffic, according to Luz. 

The downloaded applications carries with it “Its More Fun in the Philippines” template where one can add a witty catch-phrase, like going bananas, for a banana boat ride in Panglao, and hashtag #Bohol. 

With this, creating tags can lead internet search engines to Bohol as one clicks and views the meme.

While other areas splurge huge amounts for tourism promotions, the DOT Philippines opened up a portal for low cost and globally impacting tourism promotions using a personal meme as one becomes a self proclaimed tourism ambassador. 

The rising trend in digital cameras, real time internet picture sharing and linking has also accidentally opened up for Bohol a wide avenue for unwitting promotions, he said.

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