Philippines region aims to be country's next BPO hub

Mindanao, the Philippines' southernmost and largest region, has embarked on a mission to become the nation's knowledge and e-services hub outside Metro Manila by 2010.

Although the strategy to meet this goal is not yet polished fully, business leaders have already identified key areas that must be improved.

The development of the region's human capital is an important consideration in rationalizing Mindanao's ICT plan, based on regional private sector consultations.

Business leaders in this province, which is famous for its tuna and pineapple produce, have already set a vision to integrate IT in the core of basic education. The identification of emerging issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges in the IT arena will then play a crucial role in this effort.

Jan Ced of the General Santos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and co-chairman of the 4th Mindanao Information and Communications Technology (MICT) Congress said, in an interview with Computerworld Philippines, that there is a need to address the human capital as early as now. 'We should not wait for the ICT companies in the city to suffer in the dwindling of available competent and competitive human resources. Sustainability of the pool is critical.'

In a talk during the MICT Congress, Mitch Locsin, Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) executive director, said that the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is gaining ground worldwide and this is an area wherein Mindanao can also participate.