More than just the mere presence of local talents and the proper Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure, a lot still needs to be done regarding the convergence and proper harnessing of the skills of start-ups in order to fully maximize the vast talent pool of the local ICT-related workforce in Cebu.
For one thing, local start-ups need to come forward and pool in their talents together in order to make for proper cohesion and synergy purposes instead of going in separate directions without knowing what their counterparts are up to.
According to Monchito Ibrahim, deputy executive director of the Department of Science and Technology, “we need local start-ups to band together since many remain undiscovered and unknown. We are currently in the process of creating a roadmap to determine the actual number and specific talents on hand.”
Speaking on the topic “Philippine Roadmap for Digital Start-ups,” Ibrahim also urged the start-ups to remain independent and not succumb to the employ of foreign counterparts so as to preserve and enrich the talent pool.
He hinted that foreign firms can impact the directions of the national roadmap if the local start-ups are swayed by the thrusts and policies of foreign companies which may clash with that of the roadmap.
“The Philippines can be the source of the next great app. We can be the next big thing behind the ASEAN digital innovation due to our deep talent pool, remarkable English comprehension, and youthful workforce.”
The speaker also cited the need for the establishment of a Department of ICT just like other countries, in order to hasten the formation of the roadmap, point out present-day and future threats, and pave the way for a more stable future.
He has observed that nearly all countries have their own ICT department, or its equivalent, that has played a vital role in the vast growth of ICT in their own countries.
Such a department can also raise Cebu’s ranking of 7th among the world’s top BPO destinations in accordance to the 2015 Tholons study. Previous rankings saw Cebu at eighth place for three years from 2012-2014.
The BPO industry employed over 1.2 M last year, and a record-setting 1.4 M this year. Over 525,000 are targeted outside Metro Manila, including 120,000 in Cebu. Earnings are expected to top US$ 25-B by the yearend.
By RICHARD RAMOS