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26 November 2008

Subic hosts ICT convention

Identified recently as one the most viable information technology hubs in the country outside Metro Manila, the Subic Bay Freeport will host starting today (November 27) a two-day convention on information and communications technology (ICT) to help consolidate stakeholders in the booming industry.

The event, which includes a trade exhibition that will run until November 30, was organized by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) in close collaboration with the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SBCCI).

The convention and exhibit will be held at the Subic Bay Exhibition and Convention Center (SBECC) under the theme "E-nnovative Governance: the SubIcTech Formula."

Plenary speakers include Oscar SaƱez, president of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP); Monchito Ibrahim, commissioner of the Cyber Services Group, Commission on Information & Communications Technology (CICT); and Ma. Lourdes Mediran, deputy executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

Guest speakers, meanwhile, include Senator Richard Gordon, Asst. Secretary Reynaldo Berroya of the Department of Transportation and Communication, and Buhay party list representative Ma. Carissa Coscolluela, who chairs the Bataan Olongapo Zambales Educational Development Organization's Information Technology Council.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said that the convention and exhibit is expected to attract experts, industry leaders, and key decision-makers in the ICT sector.

"With this event, we aim to consolidate stakeholders in the ICT industry, so that the country, including Subic, can really take off as a world-class provider of ICT services," Arreza said.

"This is a booming industry, and we must have the necessary facilities to grab a big chunk of the growing market," he added.

Arreza said the ICT industry, considered as one sector with some of the most high-paying jobs in the country at present, experienced a growth rate of 70 percent from year 2000 to 2005.

In 2005, he added, the Philippines was considered a location of choice because of relatively less expensive operational and labor costs, making it one of the top 10 BPO destinations worldwide.

The potentials of the industry include Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), and other creative E-services like software and hardware development, wireless application, digital animation and games, Arreza added.

He also said that the new ICT trends, like E-commerce — the groundbreaking way of doing business through the Internet, and using telecommunications and computing tools for marketing and business exchange — is currently revolutionizing ways on how business and governance should be done.

As for the Subic Bay Freeport, Arreza said the SBMA has recently upgraded ICT facilities here to meet emerging demands in the industry.

"Subic is now ready with the required infrastructures, as well as a talent pool, to be a major player in the ICT business," Arreza said.

Organizers said the four-day ICT convention and exhibit expects over two thousand participants from prominent industry players, telecom companies, software and hardware manufacturers, IT schools, business and knowledge process outsourcing groups, as well as manufacturers of computers, mobile phones, and other electronic products.

The high number of participants was made possible trhough online registration at the website (http:/www.ictsubic.com), which was created and managed by the Comteq Computer and Business College, an ICT school based in the Subic Freeport. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

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