Makati City - Valenzuela City Mayor WIN Gatchalian told business leaders that significant government investment in human capital development is essential in keeping the country’s position as the global leader in the lucrative business process outsourcing industry.
The chief executive of the industrial Northern Gateway to Metro Manila declared this when he sat with the panel of experts during the Driving Cost Efficiency, Maximizing Profitability: The cost of doing business in the Philippines forum organized by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) last week at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.
Speaking before top local and foreign business executives, he said that education and skills development play an important role in preparing Filipinos with needed competencies to benefit in this relatively new yet booming field.
BPO employers, like call centers, similarly raised this issue during the discussion. They noted that the industry demands a consistent supply of quality graduates in order to sustain its growth and remain competitive.
Tackling the issue from a local government perspective, the TOYM awardee pointed out that Valenzuela City does not have certain physical attributes that would attract potential investors. But laying down his aces, “we have the people that will run your companies,” he guaranteed.
Mayor WIN said the city is investing heavily in education with strong foundation in information technology in an aim to produce highly-employable graduates. All public high schools in the city are equipped with top-of-the-line Internet-connected computer laboratories. Furthermore, the city’s public school teachers and key personnel also undergo periodic training with its private partners in Synergia Foundation and Temasek Holdings of Singapore. “This strategy poses its approximately 108,000 public primary and secondary school students and 5,000 tertiary students as Valenzuela City’s potential prime assets.”
The Philippines has over taken India as the world's leading destination for BPOs. GMA News recently reported that local BPOs posted with $11 billion in revenues or an increase of 24 percent from 2010 and 638,000 people were employed, or an increase of 22 percent from the previous year.
The Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) is the umbrella association for the IT-BPO and GIC (Global In-House Center) industry in the Philippines. BPAP “assists investors in setting up operations easily and quickly in the Philippines.”
Joining Mayor WIN in the panel are Infosys Vice President Ayan Chakraborty, Manila Historical and Heritage Commission Vice President Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Balanga City Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia III, of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Secretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy Group, Romulo Manlapig, Manager for Promotions and Public Affairs of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Elmer San Pascual, and Telus President Jeffrey Uthoff. BPAP Senior Executive Director Gigi Virata facilitated the discussion. BPAP President and CEO, and fellow TOYM awardee, Benedict Hernandez welcomed all the panelists and participants.