The city can become the world’s largest information technology (IT) park if it can build needed infrastructure, says ICT Davao President Bert Barriga, as Davao City is likely to entice new IT businesses in locating to the city.
Guesting at Kapihan sa SM Media Forum at Café Rhysus SM-City Davao yesterday, June 4, Barriga said that unlike Manila and Cebu where IT locators are converging in a single area, Davao City is so large and the urban ecosystems are spread out.
He said rather than grouping these locators in a single area, they can put it in the eastern, western, southern, northern, central areas in the city.
Barriga said if they can put in the needed infrastructure in the different parts of Davao City, it can be the largest IT park in the world. Among the needed infrastructure include steady, seamless broadband interconnectivity, accessiblity, and adequate security.
As for security, Barriga said that despite Davao being considered as one of the peaceful cities in the country they still have to contend with Mindanao’s image problem.
Echoing the potentials of the City, Barriga said that many IT investors are looking in at Davao, and he bared that last week alone, four investors, two Americans, and two Australians have visited his office to inquire about investing in the city.
Barriga added that the city will be needing 3,000-5,000 call center workers in the next two months and at least two major call center companies are looking into putting up their call centers in Davao. He also added that in the field of software development, they had locators interested in working with local programmers.
Davao has two IT parks being developed: one is the Abreeza Technohub of Abreeza Mall, which is a seven-storey building housing business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. There is also the soon-to-open SM-Lanang mall with BPO spaces encompassing about 11,000 square meters for locators, which had visiting businessmen in awe.
“If you build it, they will come, If you won’t build it, they won’t come,” Barriga said, describing the need for building infrastructures to lure in more investors rather than just waiting for them before building the needed systems.