The tragedy that hit the business process outsourcing company Research Now SSI last December may have stymied the growth of the entire information technology-business process management (ICT-BPM) industry, but the slowdown will not be for long.
Industry stakeholders believe that it will continue to grow that, in the next few years, it will become a big contributor to the economic growth of the region.
The projection is that by 2023, the sector will contribute about P12 billion to the region, or an increase of P4 billion from its present contribution, said lawyer Samuel Matunog, Information Communication Technology-Davao president.
Matunog said that with this projected contribution from the industry, the region will be able to achieve its target of 11.5% growth in 2022 because all other sectors are expected to do well, too.
“We commit to work harder everyday,” said Matunog, whose company Segworks has developed digital solutions for hospitals and other similar industries.
The growth is very evident because just about two months after its operations were shut down due to the tragedy that saw 37 of its employees dead due to fire that hit the New City Commercial Center Mall in Matina, Research Now SSI announced it would need another 600 employees for its operations.
The company said that aside from ensuring that their employees who perished in the tragedy were supported, it has also been into recruitment for its operations.
Another indication that the industry is growing is that most new buildings have applied for accreditation from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to become certified information and communication technology building.
Raphil Saguan, Prime Philippines associate for capital markets and investments, said that new buildings have been tailored fit for operations of these company because “the city has been a hotspot for the industry.”
Saguan added that these buildings have also become among the busiest in terms of activities.
In order to prepare the industry for the intensity of the operations of companies that are into ICT-BPM, Belinda Torres, industry representative to the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, human resources must be prepared.
Torres, who runs the Jobs E-Solutions Inc., said the industry has submitted to the government the plan that will provide training for those intending to become industry employees as the industry has absorbed about 40,000 workers and that the number is increasing.
“We have come up with a strategy (for the skills upgrading of new graduates as well as those that have been working) so that we will able to address the industry need,” she added.
Even the national industry stakeholders have taken notice of the achievement of the city, the top next wave city of the industry, in luring more businesses.
Benedict C. Hernandez, board chair of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, took note of the city’s evolution from just a recruitment area 10 years ago to what it has become as top haven of industry players.
“Before we would only come here to recruit, now most of the members of the association have expansion of operations in the city,” Hernandez added.
Truly, the growth of the industry may have suffered some bumps, but the acceleration has continued to go up.