ICT TALK. Assistant Secretary for Management and Operations Ivin Ronald Alzona, officer-in-charge for Regional Operations and Countryside and ICT Industry Development of the Department of Information and Communications, talks to reporters on the sidelines of the 121st Independence Day program in Bacolod City on Wednesday (June 12, 2019). Alzona lauded the city government for providing a healthy, vibrant and innovative ICT industry that allows its citizens to take full advantage of it. (Photo courtesy of Glenn Illorin Ravillo)

BACOLOD CITY -- An official of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is optimistic that Bacolod can eventually return to the Tholons Top 100 Super Cities list after its exclusion this year.

Assistant Secretary for Management and Operations Ivin Ronald Alzona said on Wednesday that the local government’s support for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) industry is vital.

“I’m confident that with the support of the city government and the people of Bacolod, babalik din tayo dun sa (we will eventually return to the) top 100,” Alzona told reporters on the sidelines of this city’s 121st Independence Day program, where he was the guest speaker.

Bacolod placed 89th in 2018, but failed to make it to the list this year. Only three Philippine cities -- Manila, Cebu, and Davao -- remained on the list of top 100 outsourcing destinations released by global consulting firm Tholons last April.

Alzona, who also sits as officer-in-charge for Regional Operations and Countryside and ICT Industry Development, said he hopes that Bacolod would make it back to the list as a way of recognizing its support for the local ICT ecosystem, the development of the local innovation system, and continuous digital transformation.

He added that the city just needs to focus and continue the right things it has done before, and determine the areas that need improvement.

In his speech, Alzona commended the city government for providing a healthy, vibrant and innovative ICT industry that enables its citizens to take full advantage of it.

“This is especially in the field of government services delivery, trade, technopreneurship, finance and health, among others,” he added.

Alzona said this year’s Independence Day theme, “Pagbabagong Ipinaglaban, Alay sa Masaganang Kinabukasan”, aptly reflects how Bacolod has embraced the constantly ever-changing times.

He noted that the city has about 35,000 direct business process outsourcing jobs, and more than 100,000 jobs that support the more than 30 IT-BPM companies located in 27 parks and centers in Bacolod that are accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.

There are also institutions accredited by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education that implement ICT-industry-centric training under the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines Service Management Program, he said.

“In fact, Bacolod also has fully functional Technology Business Incubation centers that support the development of our startups,” he added.

Alzona also said the city government must be congratulated for its initiatives in expanding the opportunities for its constituents through their collaborative efforts with national government agencies like the DICT, the academe, and the private sector in developing strategies to further improve the workforce, building the necessary infrastructure, and providing an enabling environment for doing business with ease.

“Given all these milestones, the city government has given itself the challenge of outdoing and outperforming itself,” he added. (PNA)