The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines is searching for new areas where the industry is expected to thrive in the age of the “new normal”.
In cooperation with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and Leechiu Property Consultants, ITBPAP has finalized the Digital Cities 2025.
The initiative continues the legacy of Next Wave Cities as it aims to drive inclusive growth in the countryside by selecting high-potential areas throughout the country and transforming them into bustling IT-business process management hubs within five years.
“The launch of Digital Cities 2025 is a testament to the IT-BPM industry’s resilience and enduring role as a major growth driver of the Philippine economy,” said IBPAP president and CEO Rey Untal.
“The countryside remains full of untapped potential and harnessing this can lead to countless more opportunities for continued expansion and sustained growth for the sector,” he said.
Based on the initiative’s mid-term development plan, the industry will endeavor to make each city one a top-of-mind destination for global investments.
The 25 cities under the program were chosen using a scorecard developed by DICT and IBPAP with insights provided by Leechiu Property based on a set of parameters reflecting priority areas for investors and locators—talent availability, infrastructure, cost, and business environment.
Chosen as Digital Cities 2025 were Balanga City, Batangas City, Cabanatuan City, Dagupan City, General Santos City, Iligan City, Iriga City, Laguna Cluster (San Pablo, Calamba, and Los Baños), Laoag City, Legazpi City, Malolos City, Metro Cavite (Bacoor City, Imus, and General Trias), Metro Rizal (Taytay, Cainta, and Antipolo City), Olongapo City, Puerto Princesa City, Roxas City, San Fernando City, La Union, San Fernando City, San Jose Del Monte City, Tacloban City, Tagbilaran City, Tarlac City, Tuguegarao City, Urdaneta City and Zamboanga City.
These cities, the focus of economic development in the next three years, will be developed into ICT hubs and will serve as business and innovation centers to sustain the rapid growth of the IT-BPM sector.
The 25 new destinations are also expected to draw in investments that would create more jobs and other economic opportunities in areas outside Metro Manila.
It is seen to motivate existing players to expand beyond the National Capital Region, encourage new ones to set up shop in the Philippines and ultimately generate more opportunities for Filipinos.
Digital Cities 2025 aims to build the resiliency of the IT-BPM sector as an engine of growth for the Philippine economy. It also aims to bridge industry progress in the countryside to strengthen local economies.
The 25 new locations, alongside the Centers of Excellence and established Next Wave Cities, are projected to bring the country a step closer towards becoming a more digitally-enabled nation—one that continues to be globally competitive and relevant as a prime investment destination.
“By working together with other executive agencies, local government units, industry leaders and academic institutions, we will enable each location to grow into Centers of Excellence that spur the development of other business sectors, de-risk Metro Manila concentration, create jobs, and boost the local economy,” Untal said.
Some points of action are institutional development, talent attraction and development, infrastructure development and marketing and promotion. These will involve the strengthening of ICT councils, sharing of best practices, launching awareness campaigns and facilitating infrastructure initiatives.
While the pandemic and the enhanced community quarantine affected business operations across industries, Leechiu Property CEO David Leechiu expects a surge in IT-BPM demand once the country and the rest of the world settle into the “new normal”.
“The Philippine IT-BPM will be instrumental in the country’s recovery from this health crisis so we need to be ready for the demand to start gaining momentum. This will be critical in how the world views us as a long-term investment versus our ASEAN neighbors,” Leechui said.
The digitalcitiesPH portal will help translate potential into progress in the countryside by providing investors and locators with essential information on cities and municipalities all over the Philippines. This will help them better assess each location’s potential as a global business center.