13 April 2012

SBMA sets to develop techno hub, eyes 20,000 new jobs in 5 years

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has bared a plan to develop a technology center patterned after the Ayala Techno Hub in Metro Manila, hoping to cash in on the growing proficiency of local workers in information and communication technology.

SBMA Chairman Roberto Garcia said the agency is all ready to convert an area inside this premier free port into a business process outsourcing (BPO) center.

“The SBMA is already developing what we call the Subic BPO City, which will be similar to the Ayala Techno Hub. We believe can already provide BPO services here because we now have a workforce that’s well-trained in ICT,” Garcia said.

The Ayala Land Techno Hub is a 20-hectare information technology center located in Quezon City. It is listed as an IT Park by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), which gives incentives to investors in information and communication technology (ICT).

Garcia added that all technical infrastructure for the Subic BPO City “are all there already.” The SBMA will also provide housing for the ICT professionals and call center agents who will work in the center.

He added that the project could generate as many as 20,000 new jobs in the first five years.

Garcia said the idea of putting up a techno park in Subic started after the Philippines was ranked number one in business process outsourcing in the world.

“We have already surpassed India in the field of BPO, and because of this the future looks very bright for the Philippines,” Garcia said.

He pointed out that the country now has more than 700,000 seats for call center agent services and business processes outsourcing.

Garcia also pointed out that the BPO sector is growing by about 25 percent a year, remitting US$13 million to the Philippine economy and is fast catching up with the US$20 million remitted annually by overseas Filipino workers.

Garcia said the success of the BPO sector in the country can be attributed to the computer literacy and English proficiency of Filipino workers.

“This is readily available in the Subic Bay area — a well-trained workforce well-versed in ICT. This will be a big boost to our dream to build a BPO City here,” he concluded. (RAV/MPD-SBMA)