The City of Iriga successfully hosted the 3rd Bicol Regional ICT (Information & Communications Technology) Congress held on September 26-27, 2014 at the Iriga Plaza Convention Center, San Francisco, this city. With the theme “Transforming Bicolanos as ICT Empowered Citizens”, its objective is to transform the community into a knowledge-based economy by harnessing the potentials of ICT and build networks and alliances with the academe, industry and government to work on a harmonized ICT promotions and advocacy program. The congress also aims to: 1) create synergy in attracting investments and locators – by exploring and developing areas of cooperation and complementation between and among key players in the Information Communications Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (ICT-BPO); 2) strengthen organizational capacity and strategic linkages – by capacitating the IRICT Council and develop linkages with global & national ICT-BPM network to expose its leaders and members to current trends & development, challenges & opportunities in the ICT-BPM industry; and, 3) innovate and appropriate talent development – by learning & adopting to appropriate ICT for talent development, responsive to industry standards and ensure adequate and hirable talent pool in the area.
The congress featured 10 prominent speakers in the field of ICT who discussed turnkey technologies and comprehensive programs to enhance competitiveness of the ICT workforce and support the growth of the ICT industry in the Bicol Region. The speakers included: Hon. MONCHITO B. IBRAHIM, Deputy Executive Director, DOST-ICTO; Mr. JOSE MARI P. MERCADO, President & CEO, IBPAP; Ms. PENNY S. BONGATO, IBPAP, Executive Director for Talent Development; Hon. JOCELLE BATAPA-SIGUE, Executive Director, Bacolod-Negros Federation for Information & Communications Technology (BNEFIT), Inc.; Mr. ROY DEL ROSARIO, President & CEO, PTCI; Ms. LYLAH FRONDA-LEDONIO, Director, Jones Lang Lasalle Philippines, Inc.; Mr. ANTONIO EDWARD PADRE, Head, Intelligent Operations Center, DOST-ICTO; Mr. RONALD M. CIRUJANO, Country Manager, Philippine eLance-oDesk; Ms. BRENDA VALERIO, Associate Director for Ventures, Idea Space Foundation; and Ms. LIEZL FORMILLEZA DUNUAN, Sr. Program Manager, Foundation for Information Technology Education and development. It was well attended by 96 Professionals and 470 students or a total of 566, exceeding the target of 500 participants from all over the Bicol Region on the 1st day, and, 458 professionals/students on the 2nd day.
The 3rd Bicol Regional ICT Congress was organized by the newly formed Iriga-Rinconada ICT Council (IRICTC) headed by Iriga City Mayor RONALD FELIX Y. ALFELOR, Chairman and Engr. SOLOMON S. NGO, President, as its maiden big project, in cooperation with the City Government of Iriga, the ICT@Bicol Council headed by Mr. EFREN DANIEL A. DE LEON, Chairman and the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce & Industry with Engr. NGO as its President. It was supported by the dynamic ICT champions beyond the National Capital region – the Next Wave Cities and the countryside, aggregated under the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP). The DOST-ICTO has consistently provided its support & assistance to initiatives like this.
This annual conference, the first ever in the Rinconada area, brought together ICT advocates from the private and public sectors to highlight industry opportunities, development and trends, share the concomitant challenges, realities and exacting requirements of the industry, attuned to the NICP’s vision of continuously promoting an inclusive ICT development in the countryside.
The NICP vision is very consistent with the goal of the city and the council of developing a sustainable, inclusive and dynamic ICT in the areas of infrastructure, human resources & governance in Iriga-Rinconada area, as it seek to promote and develop a business ecosystem attractive and conducive to potential ICT-BPO investments and locators. This goal is part of the development blueprint of Mayor RONALD FELIX Y. ALFELOR of changing the landscape of Iriga-Rinconada area into an ICT empowered community that will usher in ICT infrastructure, generate revenues and employment opportunities.