THE Cebu Economic and Business Unit (Cebu) is aiming to hit 200,000 workers employed in the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) in Cebu City by 2019.
At least P20 billion in fresh money will be infused to Cebu City monthly should the City and the industry hit the goal two years from now, from the P9.6 billion projected monthly revenues from the direct and indirect jobs it creates.
According to Joel Yu, consultant of the Cebu Economic and Business Unit, the industry alone generates at least P7.6 billion in new money from direct employment and at least P2 billion from indirect jobs, taking into account the key factors like salary and wages and operating expenses.
The average salary of an IT employee in Cebu is pegged at P30,000 per month, growing at 10 percent per year.
The two-year target also includes growing the number of IT-BPM firms operating here from the current 329 firms to 606 firms.
At the end of 2016, the gross floor area occupied by registered IT-BPM companies in Cebu City reached 927,513 square meters. It employed a total workforce of 130,260 with P3.8 billion in salaries given out per month.
The number of IT-BPO firms has grown from four companies in the year 2000, while the number of employees has risen from 1,200 in 2000.
According to Yu, the growth of the industry has brought tremendous opportunities for Cebu’s economy in the area of employment, wages earned and purchasing power; and bragging rights for Cebu being a preferred IT-BPM destination in the world as reflected by its seventh ranking in Tholon’s report.
While opportunities abound, Yu said the industry also encounters challenges, such as transportation and traffic, security and safety, housing and a one-stop shop for the processing of employment papers.
But Yu, who was the former managing director of the defunct Cebu Investment Promotions Center, said the Cebu City Government has put in place initiatives to address the problems.
For instance, Ceres buses were fielded to both southbound and northbound routes, especially during night shifts. They have also increased police visibility and improved street lighting on sidewalks.
Yu also said Cebu City has been talking to developers and investors to build facilities similar to the Alicia Tower Residences located across Banilad Town Center, and set up an inventory website of available living spaces near IT facilities.
The consultant added that they are now finalizing a memorandum of agreement between the Cebu City Government and Cebu Holdings Inc. for the establishment of a one-stop shop at the IT Park.
Moreover, Cebu City has embarked on several talent development programs. Some of these programs include the partnership of Apas National High School with Convergys to provide contact center training for students who pass the Learning English Application for Pinoys and the One Classroom, One Contact Center, One Barangay program.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 24, 2017.
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