Bacolod City’s information technology and business process outsourcing activities (IT-BPO) is one of the fast-growing industries in the Philippines. Recent reports state that this industry is now the leading provider of white-collar jobs in the area that employs nearly half of the total worker population in the region. The current IT-BPO employee population of 30,000 is forecasted to double by 2022. Other job providers in the city include the manufacturing sector, banking, retail, and real estate.
The provision of the provincial government of a two-hectare IT-BPO Hub in 2012, Negros First CyberCentre (NFCC), and other investments have enhanced the development of the industry in the island. In the past, the Bacolod’s economy was primarily dependent on sugarcane production. Negros province was once a main producer of the crop, but the declining sugar industry since the early 1980s prompted a shift to other economic activities to sustain the growing population. In the new millennium, several commercial investments flourished in the city. One of which is the establishment of BPOs and offshoring companies.
IT-BPO professionals in these companies have various specializations besides customer service, technical support, and telesales jobs. Some of the emerging services include virtual assistance in human resource and administrative work, accounting, medical transcription, and other technical and clerical jobs. The industry also employs a significant number of IT specialists, data analysts, and business development consultants. Other spectrums in the works include healthcare information management, gaming and animation, and software development.
The Bacolod-Negros Occidental Federation for Information and Communications Technology (BNEFIT) aims to provide more jobs for 30,000 professionals in the next four years. To support this goal, government agencies and foreign investors in the region collaborate to provide trainings and scholarships to develop skilled professionals for the growing needs of the current sub-sectors in the IT-BPO companies.