Monday, October 24, 2016

Tourism: Bohol's edge over 
aspiring new call center hubs

TAGBILARAN CITY, October 17 (PIA)--Bohol's blessings of wondrous tourism spots and beaches could be its edge in beckoning investors in information communication technology (ICT) and the business process management (BPM). 

No less than the President of the Philippine Software Industries Association and another Boholano start-up provider have to pick on this edge of Bohol over other identified next wave cities (NWC). 

NWCs are those which have been ranked by industry stakeholders as the next potential expansion sites for call centers and the ICT BPM industries, based on four parameters: availability of talents and skills, pleasant business environment, cost of operations and the presence of critical infrastructure. 

But speaking at the recent Kapihan sa PIA, PSIA president Jonathan Lazurriaga bared that many of the prospective investors in the industry have seen the need for the provision of a balance work-life enjoyment for their workers. 

Over this, Bohol startup company owned by entrepreneur Roy Bayonas quickly pointed out that the proximity of areas for recreation in Bohol from Tagbilaran is a huge edge over other areas.

BPM and ICT industries usually render tasks in shifts and would be largely using mental processes which tends to be draining, a time for winding down is a huge help, Bayonas explained. 

Earlier, Governor Edgar Chatto has revealed a plan to convert the soon to be abandoned Tagbilaran City Airport into an Industrial and Information technology Park, which would only be a couple of kilometers from the heart of the city, and about 15 minutes from the beaches of Panglao. 

Even now, Bohol sees an influx of call center workers who would slip out of their Cebu jobs during breaks and long weekends, preferring to hang out in the beaches or wander elsewhere to find their kind of adventure. 

Moreover, Bayonas, who owns and operates PrintBit in Bohol said he used to work in a company in Manila which largely uses Boholano information technology specialists. 

"IT graduates there are of the same quality with the graduates in Bohol," he said, supporting Bohol as potential bright spot in BPM.

On the other hand, Tagbilaran has been on top in the Visayas on putting up a pleasant business environment.

The Department of Trade and Industry in Bohol, according to Regional Director Asteria Caberte, is putting up more Go Negosyo Centers: a hub for business consultancy and facilitation, making the prospect of locating in Bohol easier for investors. 

Already with regional wage lower than the major cities in the region, Tagbilaran still keeps a low minimum daily rate, cheap power and water cost, affordable housing and cheap food, Bayonas added. 

As to infrastructure set-up, telecommunications company PLDT Smart, as well as Globe have both finished putting up a network of fiber optic cables and connected them to Cebu and Cagayan de Oro, affording a faster and more reliable internet connection. 

Over all this, Bohol industry stakeholder members of the ICT Council agree with PSIA that the recent president's order to streamline business processes and for telecommunications companies to provide the necessary connection, that major changes could be coming.

This, according to Ben Skelton, Bohol ICT Council member could be a bright future prospect for Bohol and its ICT industry. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)
Tourism as an edge, says Bohol IT start-up provider Engr Roy Bayonas, at the Kapihan sa PIA on Bohol ICT Summit. He said a good work-life factor in a place for workers now largely figuring out among call center investors considerations in picking out the next wave cities, which Tagbilaran has an edge. (RAC/PIA-7/Bohol)

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