The Contact Islands 2022 Conference welcomed more than 300 local and foreign delegates, including the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The conference was held on 19-20 October 2022 at the Crimson Resort and Spa, Boracay Island, after two years of being held virtually. The country’s ICT agency renewed its pledge to provide connectivity in far-flung areas in the countryside to enable the growth of digital ecosystems that will generate employment for Filipinos in the contact center industry.
With the theme “The Philippine CX Industry: New Beginnings, New Horizons, New Partnerships”, the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) brought together the various stakeholders and leaders from the IT-BPM industry and government to discuss the most pressing matters in the contact center and business process industry
DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy joined the panel on the global market positioning of the Philippines and delivered the conference’s closing keynote message. He recognized the contact center’s contributions in nation-building and reiterated the current administration’s thrust and belief in digitalization as a primary mover of the economy. According to Secretary Uy, the government continues to push for last-mile connectivity in order to contribute to the progress of the Philippines’ IT-BPM industry through the promotion of the contact centers
“We believe that the Business Processing Outsourcing, the Business Processing Management, and the call center industries will be a major contributor to the Philippine economy. It already is, actually and it will continue to do so. We would like to provide as much support to the industry to be able to attain that,” ICT Chief Uy remarked.
The CCAP Chairman, Benedict Hernandez, also cited the IT-BPM Roadmap 2028 that projects a $59 billion revenue and an additional 1.1 million jobs for the Philippine IT-BPM industry in six years, adding that they want to bring the jobs to the countryside.
“We want to create a million jobs and we appreciate that it will have a ripple effect on the rest of the country. We want those million jobs to be a majority coming from provincial locations,” Chairman Hernandez said.
ICT Industry Development Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue seconded Hernandez’s statement and praised the contact centers’ approach of bringing the jobs to geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) in the country. She also emphasized the Department’s aggressive commitment to the increased connectivity and digital transformation of the GIDAs.
“We are working closely with the private sector to explore all alternatives to connect the countryside, especially the GIDAs,” Undersecretary Batapa-Sigue said during the panel discussion entitled “Business Unusual: Ensuring Last Mile Connectivity.”
Depending on the type of connectivity and the agency’s partners, Batapa-Sigue revealed that the Department has programs that cover around 95 percent of the whole country. In terms of the Free Wifi program, the DICT has established internet connectivity in 17 regions, 75 provinces out of 80, and about 606 cities. Batapa-Sigue also mentioned how connectivity, especially in the countryside, will serve the end goal and vision of the Department and the Roadmap to create more jobs.
Also present during the conference are representatives from the Philippine Economic Zone Authority, Board of Investments, Bureau of Internal Revenue, academe, and local and international contact center, real estate, and telecommunications companies.