Leading foreign and local players in the information technology (IT) industry are expected to put up shops in following the city’s hosting of the recently held 9th National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) Summit, a city official said.

NICP, an umbrella organization of information and communications technology (ICT) councils in the country, named Cagayan de Oro and nine other cities last year as “next wave” cities.

Eileen San Juan, the city’s local economic and investment promotions officer, said Cagayan de Oro has what it takes to be the new IT hub not just in the region but in Mindanao.

Proof of this, San Juan said, is the presence of business process outsourcing (BPO) facilities in the city.

Before coming over, she said, BPOs expect all the infrastructures needed for their business to be already in place, not before.

“When you say ‘next wave city,’ investors will know what you have, what you’re capable of,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the two-day summit held in a hotel here from Nov. 16-17.

For an urban center to be categorized as next-wave city, it must have the infrastructure and a business-friendly environment.

San Juan said the city can capitalize on these assets to attract IT firms to put up investments here.

With the expected entry of IT companies to the city, San Juan said more businesses that will cater to the needs their workforce will also sprout and this will help prop up Cagayan de Oro’s socio-economic growth.

At the summit, topics that were discussed focused on creating world-class digital cities in the country, inclusive digital workforce, open innovation and startup ecosystem, and the highlight of e-governance platforms for digital cities.

In his message to the summit participants, Mayor Oscar Moreno has appreciated the ICT industry for its confidence in holding NICP’s biggest event in Cagayan de Oro even though Mindanao is still under martial law.

Moreno said the city “wants to take part in nation-building.”

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro was declared as the champion in the 6th Awards in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Local Government Units or eGov Awards under the Best in Digital Payment category.

The city’s winning entry is the Internet Online Service of the City Treasurer’s Office, featuring its user-friendly online tax payment and billing system that taxpayers and business owners the convenience and comfort.

San Juan said while other cities only use the online system for its billings, Cagayan de Oro has utilized the digital method for paying bills to the city government, including the payment of traffic citation, real property tax, and even the “cedula” (community tax certificate). (PNA/JJJ)

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