• Zamboanga hoping to become IT hub in Mindanao

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    ZAMBOANGA CITY: About 2,000 people, mostly information technology (IT) experts, graduates and students, attended the recently concluded 2014 Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Job Fair at the Garden Orchid Hotel & Resort here.

    The three-day fair brought together executives of some of the best ICT companies who shared their success stories. The event was organized by the Zamboanga ICT Council headed by President Louell Felix Saavedra.

    Aside from Saavedra, those who shared their insights were Ronald Cirujano, Elance country manager; Christine Rom, PODD Corporation president and CEO; Alvin Juban, Secret 6 Inc. head of operations; Markku Kero, Job and Esther Technologies CEO in Finland; Raymund Vidar, Voyager Innovations development manager; and Rogelio Umali, head of Technology and Innovation Support Services of Smart Communications’ Monetization Group.

    They all spoke about their respective companies and ICT’s importance not only in trade and commerce, but in every day life since more and more people largely depend on new technologies in the fast changing world of computers and electronics.

    Saavedra urged students in Zamboanga and nearby provinces and cities to take IT courses because of the high demand both here and abroad.

    “In Zamboanga City alone, there is a big potential for ICT and BPOs or Business Process Outsourcing and IT companies are coming here,” he said.

    Saavedra said they are now trying to lure companies to put up call centers to make Zamboanga an IT hub.

    “Zamboanga has a huge potential in ICT and we are optimistic that we can attract local and foreigner investors and make this city an IT hub just like Cebu,” he said.

    The Zamboanga ICT Council was established in 2012 by the Regional Information Technology and E-Commerce Committee in Western Mindanao and the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    The council is composed of Michael Kelly Lim, vice president; Maureene Bello, corporate secretary; Antonio Itturalde, treasurer; and Board Members Oliver Ong, Cheryl Ortega, Danny Lim, Edwin To (the current president of the Zamboanga City Chamber of Commerce and Industry); Efren Wee, Myrna Natividad and Pedro Rufo Soliven himself.

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