Business process outsourcing (BPO) firm HP Outsourcing Philippines Inc. announced Friday that it has established a partnership with the Mindanao State University in Iligan City where it plans to put up an office.
HP Outsourcing Philippines, a subsidiary of the Hubport Group, has signed a memorandum of agreement with the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), a university known for its information technology and engineering programs. The BPO firm will be putting up an office inside the MSU-IIT campus.
"The partnership with MSU-IIT adds to our capability to deploy a skilled IT workforce at par with international standards," Hubport Group chief operating officer Xavier Eric Manalastas said in a statement, adding that the global demand for outsourced IT services continues to grow despite the economic downturn.
The 24-hour facility will serve two functions: as a remote office for Hubport's commercial operations, and as a virtual computer laboratory for the on-the-job training of MSU-IIT students on web design, animation, transcription services, and other skills. Those who are part of the program have higher chances of employment in Hubport.
The office will also be connected with selected students honing their English skills through the Growth with Equity in Mindanao's (GEM) Job Enabling English Proficiency Project, which is also being implemented by MSU-IIT.
"This ensures that the skills of the local labor pool match industry requirements," said Renne Subido, deputy program manager for business development of the United States Agency for International Development's GEM Program, which facilitated the tie-up with Hubport and MSU-IIT.
Hubport said it will also share best practices in BPO operations with MSU-IIT, and assist faculty members in tailoring the institute's information and communication technology (ICT) curriculum to the needs of the expanding BPO sector.
"Investors are pleasantly surprised by the number of workers with high-level ICT skills in these Mindanao cities," Subido said.
As the country's outsourcing industry continues grows and demand for labor begins to outstrip supply in Manila and other ICT hubs such as Davao, Subido said more firms are establishing virtual offices in alternative locations like Zamboanga, General Santos, Cotabato, and Marawi.
"The Iligan city government is enthusiastic in its support for local ICT businesses," said Dr. Emmanuel Lagare, an MSU-IIT faculty member and chairman of the Iligan Information and Communications Technology Council.
The Commission on Higher Education has designated a number of MSU-IIT departments as centers of excellence and development in various fields, which include ICT, engineering, science, and mathematics.
The Hubport Group provides web-based services ranging from website design, development, hosting and search engine optimization, to internet consulancy, e-commerce, multimedia design, and BPO.
It has offices and partners in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.