BAGUIO CITY – The country’s undisputed Summer Capital was named by the Department of Science and Technology – Information and Communication Technology Office (DOST-ICTO) as one of the next wave cities that will not only provide alternative locations for IT-business process management companies seeking to expand outside Metro Manila, but will also support the stellar growth performance of the industry.
Aside from Baguio City, the other next wave cities include Cagayan De Oro, Dagupan, Dasmariñas, Dumaguete, Lipa, Malolos, Naga, Sta. Rosa, and Taytay. The list came from the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC), which used a score card to rate a location’s ability to enable and support the entry and growth of IT-BPM companies.
City Planning and Development Officer Evelyn G. Cayat pointed out that the 10 cities were selected out of 42 locations that were assessed based on talent availability, infrastructure, business environment and cost.
She explained the next wave cites were assessed based on indicators that reflect talent availability, presence of infrastructure, good business environment, and cost competitiveness using a scorecard.
According to her, talent, which accounts for 40 percent of the scorecard, was based on the number of college graduates in the city and within a 25-kilometer radius from the city and also considered in the rating were the size of the work force net of the graduates, percentage of the work force that are professionals, and programs in tertiary institutions certified as centers of development or centers of excellence by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).
Among the factors considered by the DOST-ICTO in infrastructure, which accounts for 30 percent of the score of the cities, include the quality of roads, availability of hotels, presence of international or domestic airports, frequency of domestic and international fights, power, telecommunications and available spaces in PEZA-certified buildings.
Business, accounts for 20 percent of the score of the cities, includes the location of sites within the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and that the areas were not covered by a travel advisory, with an active ICT council and lower crime rate.
Cost, accounts for 10 percent of the scorecard of the cities, includes indicators real estate cost, manpower cost, and power rates.
Cayat cited the inclusion of Baguio in the next wave cites will help in the robust growth of the business process outsourcing industries that are expected to put up their operations in the city within the next several years, thus, the need for the city government to closely monitor the compliance of the industry to existing standards that would contribute in increasing opportunities for better jobs by the graduates from different higher education institutions in the city and neighboring localities.
By Dexter A. See