Davao IT support lags behind de Oro’s – exec

ict-industry1.jpgDAVAO CITY – Support from the government in Cagayan de Oro is more organized that’s why they are getting more IT business, an executive of one of Davao’s two call centers said.

Gary Dumael, operations chief of Link to Support call centers, noted the lagging state of support industry players are getting from the government in Davao City compared to that in Cagayan de Oro.

Andre Joseph Fournier, ICT chair of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry said competition between Davao and other Mindanao cities like Cagayan de Oro is “neck to neck” requiring for sound local support and incentives.

Dumael spoke at the 4th Techno Kapihan Forum Wednesday in a cafe in Damosa IT Park’s Market Basket.

Dumael spoke amid discussions with ICT Davao, a new group of IT stakeholders that vowed to straighten up industry issues and concerns at the forum.

He said in Cagayan de Oro, the city government showcased the city as a product itself in promoting the city’s IT potentials to investors. Link to Support operates call centers in Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City. He said even the national agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry and TESDA, like the city government, are very organized.

He sought for more support from the city government and the national line agencies in the area.

Dumael also cited problems with telecommunication companies’ alleged slow response during incidence of service failures. He addressed the concern to the National Telecommunications Commission.

Josue Villa Go, NTC Davao director, said he took note of the concern and asked ICT Davao to formalize their concerns so they can attend to it.

City Councilor Peter Laviña vowed local government support and cited the creation of the ICT Task Force.

City Councilor Pilar Braga said, however, that the task force waited for the stakeholders to organize themselves before proceeding to draft its ICT plan.

She said the city government will factor in ICT Davao’s plan into it.

Oliver Robillo, ICT cluster private sector chair of the regional economic development council, told MindaNews they would stay focused on overseeing ICT Davao’s action plan.

ICT Davao, a new group of IT-enabled industry associations and academe in the city, pledged to work out industry concerns, even work closely with the government.

Fournier clarified that in order to make the city more attractive to IT investors it has to offer a better package to pull them here from Manila and Cebu and it can only be done if all the stakeholders get their acts together.

He said IT industry associations, the city government, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Science and Technology and other sectors should sit together and facilitate a planning session to come out with a long term ICT plan.

He said a stakeholders’ advisory council, apart from the private sector’s ICT Davao, to oversee the planning is key to addressing the problem of poor promotion to push the industry towards its goal to be an ICT hub.

Fournier cited that recurring impression on Mindanao’s peace and order situation has influenced would be investor’s from putting up more call centers and medical transcription sites here despite the fact that local space rental and salaries are already low.

He said to make it more attractive, it shouldn’t be allowed to go up for now while the industry navigates uphill in the competitive market.

The city has two call centers and four medical transcription sites for now. He said the city’s IT manpower continue to leave Davao side by side with BPO firms coming to Davao to drain the city of some important human resources, Fournier said.

“Let’s avert that by encouraging more business from local investors so they stay,” he said in an interview Wednesday morning.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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