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IECEP, CebuSoft, and Cebu Computer Society support Cebu ICT 2005

Join increasing number of organizations who will serve as implementing partners for the IT & ITES conference

(Manila, Philippines) — Three Cebu stakeholders in information and communications technology (ICT) and information technology-enabled services (ITES) have joined ranks with 53 other Philippine business organizations to serve as implementing partners for the upcoming Cebu ICT 2005 conference and exhibition.

Entitled, “Cebu ICT 2005: Asia’s Emerging Role as a Global Center for IT & IT-Enabled Services,” the conference and exhibition aim to strengthen Cebu’s image as a key information technology hub in Asia. Cebu ICT 2005 takes place June 22 to 24, 2005 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will address conference delegates in the morning of the first day of the conference.

The conference also features such international speakers as Kiran Karnik, president of Nasscom, and Datuk Dr. Mohamed Arif Nun, CEO of Malaysia’s Multimedia Development Corporation.

Representatives of the Institute of Electronics and Communications Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP)-Cebu Chapter, the Cebu Software Industry Development Association, Inc. (CebuSoft) and the Cebu Computer Society recently signed a memorandum to serve as implementing partners together with the event owner, the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

They were joined by heads of the Cebu Investments Promotion Center, the Philippine Society for Training and Development and the Center for Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology, also implementing partners for Cebu ICT 2005.

Cebu ICT 2005 will bring together IT and ITES buyers and vendors through business matching and networking sessions that government and industry stakeholders hope will translate into substantial job and entrepreneurial opportunities.

"I am optimistic that this event will create more gainful employment for Filipinos so they won't have to leave the country and work elsewhere," said Jose Mari Bigornia, IECEP-Cebu Chapter president. With six schools offering electronics and communications engineering courses, the Visayas currently produces some 200 graduates yearly, Bigornia said. "Events like Cebu ICT 2005 help us develop our graduates' capabilities so that they can meet international IT market demand here," he said.

Companies that require large numbers of IT workers, Bigornia said, include call centers, medical transcription operators, telecommunication firms and even petrochemical companies.

Another implementing partner intends to leverage the event to meet international customers and industry partners.

"We hope to achieve much even if this is the first-ever activity of its kind," said Virgilio Plarisan, executive director of CebuSoft, a local organization of software developers. "We really intend to maximize our participation in the conference, especially in the break-out plenary discussions when we will speak on the issues and concerns of local developers of software for local and global users," he added.

With 16 member-companies representing IT and ITES software industry sectors, CebuSoft members currently employ a combined total of more than 100 ICT professionals. "I expect Cebu ICT 2005 to bring a lot of benefits to our members and all industry stakeholders," Plarisan said. “It will help draw attention and opportunity to Cebu and the Philippines.

IT professionals associated with CCS are participating in the conference with the purpose of contributing to the development of Cebu's IT and ITES potential. "We want to help realize the government's thrust of making Cebu the country's IT hub," said Antonio Quintos, Jr., CCS president. "By helping create an environment conducive to IT growth, whether collectively or individually, we can do something to help strengthen Cebu as a global ICT center," he explained.

Cebu ICT 2005 is also organized in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investment. For more information, visit www.cebuict2005.com.