Your Excellency – President Benigno S. Aquino III, Secretary Gregory Domingo, Governor Alfredo Maranon, Jr. Ladies and gentlemen – Good Morning.
The Negros First CyberCenter is the first information technology multi-complex stand-alone building in Western Visayas with the Province of Negros Occidental as registered owner and developer. It is 25th special economic zone for information technology enterprises in the City of Bacolod, which bring the city’s footprint to more than 100,000 square meters of space accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority or PEZA.
We thank PEZA under the Department of Trade and Industry which is ably represented today by no less than the Honorable Secretary Greg Domingo. Special thanks to PEZA Director General Lilia De Lima who led the Cybercentre’s ground-breaking ceremony and laying of the time capsule last year.
Your Excellency has signed Presidential Proclamation No. 802 dated June 11, 2014 proclaiming the CyberCentre as an IT Center to be registered under PEZA. Hence, this facility directly offers national government fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to prospective locators coming from all over the world.
By continuing the incentives for IT-enabled companies under the current set-up, Bacolod today was able to attract more than 20 IT-Business Process Outsourcing or IT-BPO multi-national companies. These big companies are represented in the hall today.
It is first of its kind because it combines the following features:
It has 22,000 square meters of IT-BPO/Commercial Spaces,
Redundant Telecom Networks, and 24/7 Emergency Power Generator.
Its unique features includes – a Technology Business Incubation Center for ICT Startups.
The CyberCentre has also been designated as a Business Resource Center and Shared Service Facility location by the Department of Trade and Industry with about 1 Million pesos worth of equipment support — to assist investors’ market research and development requirements. It will soon have a Creative Processes Studio and an Investment Lounge to feature the investment potential of towns and cities of the whole province.
This is a green building, making full use of natural lighting and features rain and waste water treatment systems. We also have ample Parking Spaces – ready for 300 vehicles and an active CyberCentre Project Management Group.
The CyberCentre is a symbol of leadership that values innovation. Our goal is to generate 6,000 direct jobs and 20,000 indirect jobs in this center. More than a structure – it projects a vision of developing a market place for ideas in the Information Age. As an Eisenhower Fellow of the Philippines in 2012 – I was inspired by the innovative models of the Plug and Play Tech center at Silicon Valley, and the Old Tobacco Factory transformed to a Game Development Hub at the Research Triangle in North Carolina. As Visayas ICT cluster chair under DTI-JICA, we were able to benchmark with the integrated facilities at Kamacon Open Innovation Lab at Kamakura, Japan. Hence today, this facility combines BPO spaces with startup facilities, business resource center and creative studios as well support establishments. This model allows aspiring tech-entrepreneurs and startups to co-exist with established multi-national companies to encourage exchange of ideas and sharing of opportunities.
Today – we are happy to have Ubiquity Global Services as our first locator, a company headquartered in New York with facilities at The Fort in Taguig. At the end of this year, we will have Visaya KPO occupying two floors at our Hernaez Wing with their healthcare information management outsourcing services such medical coding and medical billing and will hire nurses and doctors.
Our Technology Business Incubation Center at the 4th Floor has the capacity to incubate up to ten startup companies. With more than 1 Million pesos worth of ICT equipment provided by the Department of Science and Technology of Region VI, and the mentorship training of the UP Cebu Technology Business Incubator. We just opened the incubation facility last January and today we already have two startup companies – Simplex GameLabs – a group of young La Salle Bacolod fresh graduates engaged in game development. And SWAPROSE or the Software and Web Application Professionals – combining IT entrepreneurs from various schools in the province. And they are all here today.
Our goal is to step up the value chain and expand the portfolio of Bacolod and Negros Occidental from voice services to complex voice and non-voice services such as Software Development, Health Care Information Management Outsourcing, and Finance and Accounting Outsourcing and Creative Industries such as Animation and Game Development. While the country concentrates on the US animation market – our low hanging fruit for Negros Occidental is the opening of the Japanese Animation Market whose top official was here last February to see the portfolio of our young animators.
And we are pleased to announce that just last week – the first software development company engage in development of applications and international trading is our latest addition to the CyberCenter and I refer to TASTradesoft Corporation, which is represented today.
In the 2015 Top 100 Cities in the World for Outsourcing – Bacolod had the highest jump from the 93rd spot in 2014 to 86th as of today — joining 7 other cities of the Philippines. Bacolod entered the list only in 2010 at the 100th spot then moved to 94th in 2013.
Today, the IT industry marks 1 Million Workers and 18 Billion US Dollars in revenues. In Bacolod the more than 20,000 workers generate annually 1.2 Billion pesos salary which is infused back to the local industry – spent on food, daily needs, real estate, education and many other personal and family expenditures. No wonder the city’s landscape has drastically changed in the last ten years.
From nowhere in 2004 – Bacolod, with the support of Negros Occidental, inched her way into the Top Ten Next Wave Cities for IT-BPO to land in the fifth spot in 2009 and 3rd spot in 2012. These cities are ranked based on Talent or Workforce, Cost of Doing Business, Business Environment and Risk Management, and Infrastructure. Last 2013 – Bacolod was taken out of the Top Ten and was elevated as one of only 4 Centers of Excellence for Information Technology and Business Process Management in the Philippines.
The secret to our success and the imperative to our continuing growth is talent development. Investment in human resource training to address the labor mismatch. And we sincerely thank you Your Excellency for in 2011-2012 – Bacolod was able to access 5,000 TESDA vouchers for Finishing Course for Call Center and beyond the minimum national requirement of 75 percent employment – almost 4000 Negrenses or more than 85 percent found a job because of the training you gave.
Rest assured of our full support towards your administration goal of achieving inclusive growth by bringing jobs to the countryside. We pledge our untiring effort to mark a total of no less than 30, 000 jobs in Negros Occidental as part of the 1.3 Million Jobs and 25 Billion US dollars Target by 2016. Thank you for visiting the CyberCenter.