Leading telecommunications and digital services provider PLDT Enterprise, through its corporate business arm PLDT ALPHA, has partnered with real estate developer Pueblo de Panay, Inc. (PDPI) for key initiatives focused on spurring growth for the region’s Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry.
Pueblo de Panay is a 500-hectare integrated mixed-use township in the center of Roxas City – the capital of Capiz province. The flagship project of PDPI’s parent firm Sacred Heart of Jesus Prime Holdings, Inc. (SHJPHI), Pueblo de Panay is home to commercial and business complexes, schools, government offices, and Roxas City’s transport terminal. In addition, the Pueblo de Panay Technopark, and Pueblo de Panay Resort and Convention Center Complex, at the heart of the property, are poised to attract substantial investments for the city and the region. “The positioning that we’d like for the township focuses on ecotourism and IT-BPM. The partnership with PLDT, who will provide world-class telecom infrastructure, is necessary for us to realize this goal,” noted PDPI CEO Jose Nery Ong.
Growing Opportunities on the Home Front
Decentralization has been a nagging issue for the Philippines, which has missed out on the benefits of more distributed development due to a disproportionate concentration of resources and talent in congested Metro Manila. It has also become an action item for the present Philippine administration, to develop physical and broadband infrastructure out into regions which were once considered “hinterland”.
Through the years Mr. Ong noted the growth of the IT-BPM industry nationwide, and its potential to provide gainful local employment. This led to the formation of the Capiz ICT Council two years ago, in a bid to put Roxas City “on the map” as an emerging IT-BPM destination. Roxas City signed its first BPO locator about six months ago. Mr. Ong also wants to stop the brain drain to Manila and to traditional OFW destinations such as the USA, the Middle East, and Europe. “We’re hoping that the IT-BPM industry will make overseas employment just another option for young people,” he says, pointing IT-BPM as a new and viable choice for both graduates and jobseekers.
Banding Together for Development
The alliance with PLDT ALPHA provides PDPI with the ICT infrastructure essential for the Technopark and other facilities. “We are actively trying to participate in the IT-BPM industry because it’s a way for us to bring in inclusive growth to this part of the Philippine countryside,” Mr. Ong added. “We need to invest in our telecom facilities. We need to be fiber ready. This is where PLDT would come in as an important partner in making these possible.” PLDT has also rolled out Google Apps for Work for site developers, and has proposed optimizing CCTV coverage for the township. “We at PLDT do not stop at simply enabling connections for communities like Pueblo de Panay. Rather, we provide the reliable and robust telecommunications infrastructure that is absolutely crucial for residents and businesses to achieve stated development goals,” said AVP and Head of Corporate Relationship Management Dick Perez.
All these projects are set to generate gainful employment in the key industries that are much closer to Capizeños, as well as to bolster a local economy that is heavily reliant on agriculture, fisheries, and remittances. “We are keen to equip these burgeoning townships with ICT infrastructure and solutions to help them realize even more long term development opportunities,” remarked VP and Head of PLDT ALPHA Vic Tria. “Fortifying the digital future for growing communities like Pueblo de Panay is thus anchored on shared insight, innovation, and partnership.”