Friday, January 04, 2013


Out-of-the box business ideas, eco-sense/eco-profit innovation, are just some of the new concepts and ideas introduced during the SME Caravan in Albay held last May 10-11, 2012 at the Concourse Convention Center in Legazpi City and attended by a total of five hundred and ninety-five participants from Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate and Catanduanes. The caravan seeks to promote entrepreneurship and introduce new business ideas to address SMEs’ common concerns relative to access and cost of business development services, access to finance, access to markets and productivity and efficiency. Spearheaded by the Bureau of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BMSMED) and the Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Office, the activity brought together national government agencies and private sector institutions whose mandates and programs address the above issues. Several highly interesting and practical business topics were discussed by professional expert lecturers invited by the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) which co-partnered with BMSMED in facilitating the event. Credit Brokering Sessions participated in by four Financing Institutions namely: Small Business Corporation (SBC), Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), Camalig Bank and Rural Bank of Guinobatan (RBGI) were also simultaneously conducted during the two-day event. Among the topics presented on day one were on “Promoting Innovation: Guiding SME Clients on New and Out of the Box Solutions” and “Building Brand Value for Market Positioning” which were presented by Mr. Ricardo de Vera, a well-known international marketing guru; “Ecosense/Eco-Profit Workshop” facilitated by Dr. Delfin Mauricio and “Build Your Own Online Store” by Ms. Jonnadeth Coja of PLDT SME. Ms. Sarah de Leoz of IPO-Legazpi also made a presentation on Branding and Intellectual Property as part of the active advocacy/campaign of the IPO to encourage local businessmen to avail of the services of the office. On day two, the participants had a hands-on training on new novelty item designs as demonstrated by Ms. Lilia Agulto of the DTI-Cottage Industry Training Center (CITC). In the afternoon of the same day, the invited local financing institutions (FIs) presented their respective lending programs available for MSMEs. A total of 30 MSMEs were provided financing consultancy by the said FIs. At least two SMEs were able to submit their documentary requirements and were initially processed by concerned FIs on the same day. Apart from the presentation of topics and the credit brokering sessions, the participants also engaged in business networking among themselves. To mention a few results of the networking activity: one participant will supply his empty pili shells to Juboken Enterprises for the latter’s charcoal briquetting business, Canon Marketing Philippines will supply Noveno’s Pilinut Candy with Photocopying Machine on term-basis and other minor negotiations between and among the participants. As an additional incentive, the corporate sponsors Canon Marketing Philippines and Sun Cellular provided corporate give-aways that were raffled off to the participants. Major prize included two Canon printers.


COCO COIR INDUSTRY UPDATES in Albay The Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office, through the Rural Micro Enterprise Promotion Program (RUMEPP) conducted a four-day Skills
Training on Coco Fiber Twining and Weaving last July 24-25 & July 26-27, 2012 in Barangay Tastas, Ligao City and Brgy. Cagmanaba, Oas, Albay, respectively. In Tastas, Ligao City, the training was conducted in partnership with the Local Government Unit of Ligao and Tastas Multi-Purpose Cooperative. A total of 41 participants, who are mostly members of the Tastas Multi-Purpose Cooperative, attended the training. During the closing ceremonies, Mayor Linda P. Gonzalez of Ligao City came over and promised the participants that the LGU will purchase or fabricate initial 20 units of twining machines in addition to the starter kit composed of 2 sets twining machines and 1 unit handloom provided by DTI, to be distributed to selected beneficiaries. Tastas Multi-Purpose Cooperative is a beneficiary of the Agencia Espanol Cooperacion International pare el Desarollo (AECID) assistance which provided the cooperative decorticating machine, truck and other equipment for coco-coir production, however, the plant is not yet operational pending power connection with the Albay Electric Cooperative. In the meantime that the plant is yet operating, Juboken Enterprises, which was hired as trainer for the above training, will initially supply coco fiber to the cooperative so that the trainees could already continue their livelihood on coco coir twining and weaving. In Cagmanaba, Oas, the DTI partnered with the US Dignity Products and Services, Inc., a new US-based company that invested on a multi-million integrated coconut processing plant in the area. The company will primarily engage in processing Virgin Coconut Oil, coco flour, chips from coco shell and eventually in coco-coir processing for export 100% to the US. It is due to start full blast operation within the year. The plant targets to utilize 16,000 pieces of coconut daily and plans to employ 150 direct workers. The DTI is also currently assisting the company in registering with the Board of Investments or at the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. The training was participated in by 36 group leaders from neighboring five coastal barangays of Cagmanaba and was conducted at the newly constructed facilities of Dignity Products. Given the enthusiasm shown by the participants, the company management decided to initially tie-up with Juboken Enterprises for the supply of coco fiber to the beneficiaries so they could continue with their learned skills on twining and weaving. The company also signified its interest on possibly partnering with Juboken for its Coco Coir Decorticating business. Negotiations between the two companies are on-going. The same training were conducted to the following groups and dates: August 21-22, 2012 - Caguiba, Camalig - 31 participants August 30-31, 2012 - St. Francis Resettlement Site, Camalig - 30 participants October 16-17, 2012 - San Vicente ARC, Oas - 40 participants October 18-19, 2012 - Balinad, Polangui - 54 participants October 23-24, 2012 - Batang, Ligao City - 37 participants October 25-26, 2012 - Balogo, Oas - 36 participants

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The Regional Investment Forum on Pangasius conducted last March 22, 2011 in Legazpi City ignited the interest of local fish pond operators to consider Pangasius as an alternative to their existing tilapia stocks. This fish specie is known locally as “hammerhead” and was previously sold in local pet shops as ornamental or aquarium fish before its potential big demand in the market both local and foreign specially from upscale restaurants and hotels was recognized. Filleted Pangasius fish is served in several exotic names such as Cobbler fish, cream dowry fish, basa fish and others.

Because of these business opportunities in the Pangasius business, local fish pond owners and businessmen have shown interest to invest into it, thus, to further deepen their knowledge and know-how about the industry and the product itself considering that it’s relatively new and they have never seen it before,the Technology-Appreciation Tour to selected fish farms in Camarines Sur was conducted last June 28, 2011. It was participated in by 18 local fish pond operators and would-be investors.

During the tour, the group made a short courtesy call to DTI-Camrines Sur Provincial Office and was warmly welcomed by Provincial Director Edna Tejada wherein a short industry briefing was also given. Afterwards they proceeded to the Galicia Farm in San Fernando, Camarines Sur and then later at the A & L Hatchery Farm in Camaligan. In these two farms, the group was practically amazed on the business potentials of Pangasius as a new fish variety because of its relatively lower maintenance and production costs as compared with other freshwater fishes.

The group also visited the Regioal Freshwater Fisheries Center in Bula, Camarines Sur. RFFC officials toured the group to the new processing (canning) facility of the center which will serve as a common service facility.

As a result of the tour, the participants were exposed to the actual operations and maintenance of a Pangasius farm and somehow aroused their interest to engage in Pangasius farming. They purchased fingerlings for sample growing in their respective ponds. However, the participants were also apprised on some issues and concerns confronting the industry and these include: 1. ready and sustainable market for their produce as there are only two existing local consolidators and market is still Manila. There are no local processors yet; 2. Issue on the Environment Impact Assessment as claimed by the RFFC Manager which means until todate, no EIA has been conducted to determine the impact of Pangasius culture to the local environment, and 3. Use of chlorine (by some processors from other parts of the country) in preserving the meat of Pangasius to make the color whiter that puts the entire industry at an unfavorable situation in the international market.

Monday, July 11, 2011


As part of the Department of Trade and Industry's commitment and assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are either displaced, repatriated and with finished contract and will stay for good in the Philippines, the office acceded to the request of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) -Regional Office No. V to partner with them by providing entrepreneurship development training and business consultancy services to the sector.

This initiative is part of OWWA's Enterprise Development Training (EDT)project under the Reintegration Program for OFWs. Aside from attending Entrepreneurship Orientation, the trainees are required to prepare Simple Business Plans to avail of the P 10,000.00 grant under the National Reintegration Center for OFWs Fund for livelihood projects. Likewise, for OFWs or group of OFWs who need bigger capitalization ranging from P 300,000.00 up to P 2,000,000.00, they are required to prepare a more detailed business plan for submission to the Landbank of the Philippines who manages the P 2 billion Reintegration Program for OFW Fund.

In the preparation of business plans by OFWs,the DTI takes a major critical role as it is given the prime responsibility to assess and evaluate the feasbility and viability of the projects and recommend the same for funding.

Since the DTI-OWWA partnership started last May, 2011 up to this writing (July), the DTI already facilitated three training sessions attended by a total of 178 OFW-participants, evaluated and recommended 83 business plans with total grant/loan applications amounting to P 10,027,947.00. Majority of the proposals are on agribusiness, allied services, food and non-food processing and trading.

It is worthwhile to mention that less than three months after the DTI intervention, some of the OFW-beneficiaries already started their formal business operations. They already complied with the mandatory business requirements such as DTI Business Name Registration, BIR and Mayor's Permit. Noteworthy to mention are two repatriated OFWs affected by the recent conflicts in Libya and they are Jesus Pedido Lustre III of Ligao City who registered his Lustre's Welding and Repair Shop and Alexander Guban Fresnido also of Ligao City who registred his Alesig Hollow Bloacka Factory and Gravel and Sand. As the DTI assistance continuous, more new entrepreneurs are expected to be developed and therefore more economic activities for the province.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


The Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office has conducted a Seminar on Customer Relations Management (CRM)initially to 125 of the 220 tenants of the Pacific Mall - Legazpi last March 31, 2011 at the Convention Area of the said Mall. The said seminar was requested by the Mall Management in line with their objective of developing the skills of their tenants in dealing with their respective customers.

Given the positive response and enthusiasm of the tenant-participants, the Mall Management deemed it appropriate to conduct the same to the remaining tenants and also for the Management's own staff.

The Seminar was facilitated by the blog owner.


The Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office, through its Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Assistance Program (LEAP) in partnership with the Department of Education-Albay Division under its Alternative Learning System (ALS) program and the Bicol Wig Cooperative, conducted a skills training on Wig Making starting last March 18, 2011 and every Friday thereafter until the trainees are able to learn the technology and acquired the required skills. The training is being held at the Activity Hall of Gabaldon Bldg., Baligang Elementary School, Baligang, Camalig, Albay.

A total of 53 Out of School Youths and women from Barangays Baligang, Bantonan, Gotob and Ilawod, all of Camalig participated in the training. No less than the President of Bicol Wig, Ms Diane Fabros served as resource person and was duly assisted by two line supervisors cum trainers from Bicol Wig, Ms. Alma Belardo and Ms. Regie Esplana.

After the trainees have completely acquired the skills and have passed the quality control tests being conducted every session, they will be issued initial job orders for take home in consideration of the distance of the area from the company's main production site cum office in Tagas, Daraga, Albay. Should there be enough trained skilled wig makers developed in the area, part of the long-term plan of the Cooperative is to establish a satellite production station there.

Friday, February 25, 2011


The Department of Trade and Industry Region V is inviting all interested entrepreneurs and investors to attend a one-day "INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY SEMINAR ON PANGASIUS" on March 22, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Concourse Convention Center, Legazpi City. Registration is FREE.

The activity aims to provide local entrepreneurs and investors a new business opportunity in the freshwater fish industry given the increasing demand for this white meat fish called Pangasius (dowry fish) both in the domestic and foreign markets.

A number of industry experts and private companies are invited to share their experiences and expertise on the culture and market of Pangasius.

For your seat reservation (we can accommodate only up to 60 pax) and further inquiries, kindly call us at telephone numbers 052 435-0337, 480-6834, telefax 920-6830 on or before March 16, 2011.


Fifteen staff from two affiliate companies of the Sunwest Group namely: Tektone Global Technologies and Sunwest Resources and Aggregates participate in the five-day New Business Creation Course workshop that started last February 21, 2011. The workshop is being facilitated by trainers from the Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office upon the invitation and request of Tektone Global. The workshop was primarily intended for the trainees of Tektone to encourage them to engage in business after finishing their short-term courses, however, it was decided that the faculty and other staff of the two companies will attend instead and cascade the learning and skills they acquire to their trainees later on. After the five-day workshop, the participants are expected to prepare a Simple Business Plan for presentation to a panel of evaluators.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Albay OTOP Declaration


We, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Support Agencies and Institutions and Partner Organizations of the One Town One Product (OTOP) Program, hereby adhere and commit to the following DECLARATIONS:

1. We shall be responsible stewards and users of our natural resources by optimizing the value and utilization of indigenous raw materials. We shall endeavor to minimize wastes and avoid degradation of the environment;

2. We shall employ internal mechanisms within our factories and offices to counter the effects of climate change to our employees, properties and our businesses;

3. We shall ensure that employee-employer relationships are well defined and clearly understood by parties concerned to maintain and sustain labor productivity and industrial competitiveness of the province;

4. We shall adopt the latest locally and commercially developed appropriate technologies to enhance business productivity thus providing opportunities for our local scientists and inventors to continuously search, discover and develop new technologies enhancing our local research & development efforts;

5. We shall endeavor to continually identify and find new market opportunities to amplify the reach of our local products both in the domestic and international market guided by the generally accepted fair trade practices and business ethics;

6. We shall comply with all the business regulatory requirements and pay the appropriate local business taxes as our contribution to nation building

7. We shall pass and approve enabling local ordinances and laws to further provide conducive business environment to our entrepreneurs and investors;

8. We shall ensure that our Corporate Social Responsibilities are effectively and religiously carried out especially to communities affected by our operations;

9. We shall continue to provide business development services to contribute to the competitiveness and profitability of OTOP Enterprises, and

10. We shall make OTOP as a vehicle for employment generation and poverty alleviation.

Friday, January 28, 2011


In accordance with the service standards which the national government is setting consistent with Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007 (ARTA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 01, series of 2010 stating therein the Guidelines in Implementing the Standards in Processing Business Permits and Licenses in all cities and municipalities in the country. Under the JMC, all cities and municipalities are enjoined to follow the following standards in processing business permits and licenses:

. UNIFIED FORM - all cities and municipalities shall use a single unified form in processing new applications for business permits and business renewals. The unified form consolidates all the information about a business registrant needed by various local and national agencies. The adoption of the unified form is anticipated to contribute to reduction of steps an time in applying for business permits.

. STANDARD STEPS - All cities and municipalities shall ensure that applicants for business registration shall follow five(5) steps in applying for new business permits or for business renewals:

1. Securing an application form from the city or municipality
2. Filing or submission of the accomplished application form with attached documentary requirements
3. One-time assessment of taxes, fees and charges
4. One-time payment of taxes, fees and charges
5. Securing the Mayor's Permit upon submission of Official REceipt as proof of payment of taxes, fees and charges imposed by the LGU

. STANDARD PROCESSING TIME - Consistent with ARTA, all cities and municipalities are enjoined to comply with the prescribed time for processing of business registrations:

1. Processing of new business permits, which is classified as a complex transaction following the ARTA classification, shall not take more than 10 days for the release of the permit. However, the LGUs are enjoined to strive for 5 days or less which is the average processing days in LGUs with streamlined BPLS

2. Processing of business renewals, which is classified as a simple transaction, shall not take more than 5 days for the release of the permit. However, LGUs are enjoined to strive for one day or less processing, which is the average processing time in LGUs with streamlined BPLS

. SIGNATORIES - all cities and municipalities shall follow the prescribed number of signatories required in processing new business applications and business renewals to five days following the ARTA. However, LGUs are enjoined to require only two (2) signatories, namely, the Mayor and the Treasurer or BPLO. To avoid delay in the release of permits, alternate signatories (e.g. Municipal or City Administrator of the BPLO) may be properly deputized by the Mayor.

In the province of Albay, five (5) Local Government Units, namely: Tabaco City, Legazpi City, Municipalities of Daraga and Guinobatan and Ligao City have been selected to pilot the implementation of the streamlined business permits and licensing system adopting all the above stated guidelines and procedures starting January, 2011. All said LGUs have set-up their respective Business One-Stop Shops which will run during the entire first quarter of 2011.

Initial assessment of the new BPLS and BOSS reveals that applications for business registration have surge dramatically. All LGUs reported significant reduction in processing time from the standard of one day for business renewals, they release mayor's permit in a matter of 30 minutes to 1 hour.

To verify whether these registration reforms have been implemented as required and that the clients have really experienced the benefits of the new system, the Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office devised a Client Satisfaction Feedback (CSF) form and distributed it to the participating LGUs for distribution also to the registrants. Evaluation will be done in March, 2011.

After the five pilot LGUs for this year, the Albay BPLS Streamlining Team will start the training for the Phase 2 which will be participated-in by another five (5) LGUs who will implement the new BPLS and BOSS in 2012. The remaining 8 municipalities are expected to fully implement the system in 2013.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


ANNOUNCEMENT: ALL INTERESTED START-UP ENTREPRENEURS AND WOULD-BE ONES who wish to enhance their entrepreneurship knowledge and skills, watch out for the start the Livelihood & Entrepreneurship Advocacy Program (LEAP) of the Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office. The schedule of entrepreneurship and skills training, both on-site (office) and off-site (LGUs)will be every second and last thursday of the month, respectively starting February, 2011. For reservation and further inquiries, kindly call DTI @ tel. no. 052 4350337, 480-6834 or 820-6830.

Monday, January 24, 2011


In year 2010, the city of Legazpi has been ranked 12th among the Next Wave Cities by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) and the Business Processing Association of the Phl (BPAP) as a favorable destination and location for ICT businesses. There were four criteria set for the ranking following the industry scorecard and these include: Infrastructure, Talent, Cost of Doing Business and the Business Environment. Among the four components, Legazpi scored low under Talent and this challenged the city government to look into the reasons behind especially so that it aims to reach the Top 10 category in year 2011.

Given the above challenge, the City Government of Legazpi, in partnership with the Albay Information and Communications Technology Association, Inc. (AICTA) and the Legazpi City ICT Council, has tapped the services of an international consulting firm, THOLONS, Inc. to do the IT-BPO Skills Assessment & evaluation of the city's human resource potentials and capabilities in response to the big challenge raised by industry as regards to the city's readiness and capability in hosting potential ICT-enabled investors and locators.

The skills assessment will be conducted on February 1-4, 2011 and will be participated-in by 500 graduating students from the following participating schools:

1. Bicol University
2. Divine Word College of Legazpi
3. Bicol College
4. Ago Medical & Educational Center-Bicol Christian College of Medicine
5. SL Technological College Foundation
6. STI College-Legazpi
7. AMA Computer College-Legazpi Campus
8. De Vera Institute of Technology
9. Mariners' Polytechnic Colleges Foundation
10. Computer Arts & Technological College
11. Tanchuling College
12. Aquinas University of Legazpi

Results of the said assessment will serve as an important input not only to the City Government in its effort to develop programs and projects to prepare its local talents but most importantly to the participating schools in trying to adjust or match their respective curricular offerings to the requirements of the industry. It is further hoped that the study (assessment) will give a true picture of the status of the existing readiness and capabilities of the local talents so that investors and locators will come in and provide employment and income to the local manpower pool.

Thursday, November 26, 2009










Project Cost : P 316,300.00 (partial)

Budget Source :
AICTA - 25,000.00
LGU-Legazpi City - 100,000.00
Equity/Sponsors - 158,000.00
iCon Registration - 33,300.00
Embarcadero -


Ø This year’s INFOTEK SHOW with the theme: “The World Needs IT, Albay has IT” is divided into four major components namely: IT Exhibit, iCon (Conference), Job Caravan and IT Seminars

Ø Due to overlapping of events at the venue, the Booth Installation was done midnight of October 27, 2009

Ø Ingress was held morning of October 28, 2009

Ø Prior to the Grand Opening, a motorcade was conducted and participated-in by more than 30 vehicles comprised mainly of exhibitors and other industry stakeholders. The route covered the Legazpi Port District and Albay District areas.

Ø The Grand Opening Ceremonies were preceded by the Cutting of the Event Ribbon by the guests and visitors and the Opening of the Jobs Fair.

Ø Hon. Secretary Marianito Roque of the Department of Labor and Employment was the Guest of Honor during the Grand Opening Ceremonies.
Ø Apart from his message, Sec. Roque also launched and signed the Memorandum of Agreement on two major projects of the DOLE for Region V which are the Kabataan ITo project and turned over 10 Nego Karts to 10 ambulant vendors in Legazpi.

Ø Also present during the Opening Ceremonies were: Hon. Noel Rosal, Mayor of Legazpi, George Sorio, CEO of Cybercity in Clark,Pampanga and currently the Chairman of the National ICT Conference of the Philippines, Ms. Laila Fronda of the Jones Lang Lasalle Leechiu, Jonathan de Luzuriaga, Executive Director of BPAP, Regional Director Ernesto Bihis of DOLE-V, Dr. Dominador Peralta, Regional Director of CHED-V, RD Conrado Bares of TESDA-V, Dir. Digs Aguilar of DTI-Albay, Dr. Fay Lauraya, BU President and a dozen of government officials and guests.

Ø INFOTEK 2009 was formally opened to the public at 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

EXHIBIT (October 28-30, 2009)

Ø The primary purpose of the exhibit was to promote the latest products and services available in the market and show to the investors that Legazpi City is now IT ready as per the requirement in the Scorecard. Generating sales, leads and customer traffic though, was a good opportunity for the exhibitors but, was considered secondary.

Ø There were 27 companies and institutions who participated in the exhibit representing the four components of the IT Scorecard namely: Talent (manpower), Infrastructure, Business Environment and Cost of Doing Business.

Ø Under the Talent category was represented by the following schools: Aquinas University, Bicol University, Computer Arts and Technological College, Informatics Computer Institute and the Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation (SLTCFI).

Ø For the Infrastructure Sector, the following companies participated: Bayantel, Digitel, Globe, PLDT, Sunwest Group, Embarcadero IT Park and DCTV.

Ø Under the Business Environment were: Embarcadero, Misibis Land, Inc., Hotel St. Ellis, ABS-CBN, LGU-Legazpi, DTI, DOT, SLTCFI-BPO Incubation Center

Ø For Cost of Doing Business: Gakken Phil., Inc., All Electronics Enterprises, Denver’s Computer Shoppe, Philcopy Corp., Intel Phil., Inc, HP Phil., Inc., Pentauno International, Inc.

Ø Daily, the exhibit opens at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 7:00 p.m.
Ø Due to inclement weather, Egress was done early at 2:00 p.m. on October 30, 2009. The closing Ceremony was canceled due to the impending typhoon.


Ø These are short-duration seminars conducted at the exhibit site (Embarcadero) for free.

Ø On October 28, 2009, the first seminar on Animation was conducted. Mr. Rudyard Pesimo, a Senior Faculty member of the Department of Digital Arts and Computer Animation of the Ateneo de Naga University was the speaker. Around 250 participants attended the seminar

Ø On October 29, Seminars on Search Engine Optimization and Web Marketing were conducted by the SEO Specialists from SLTCFI-BPO Incubation Center and Technology Updates by a faculty from Informatics Computer Institute.

JOB CARAVAN (October 28-29, 2009)

Ø The two-day job caravan was participated-in by 25 job placement agencies both for local for overseas employment, local and international companies and government agencies.

Ø Close to 2,000 job seekers lined up the registration counters even prior to the Opening of the fair.

Ø The two-day caravan resulted to 155 applicants hired on the spot and close to 200 applicants for further interview

Ø The activity was coordinated by the PESO-Albay and SLTCFI School-based PESO.

Ø Among the participating companies that made on the spot hiring were: Sutherland, Genpact, Cybercity, Metro Gaisano, LCC, PMS (hotel), Overseas, Metrosphere, Stretch Distribution, Embarcadero and Phil. Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

ICon ’09 (CONFERENCE) – October 29, 2009

Ø Held at the Concourse Convention Center and was attended by more than 150 participants from all over the Bicol Region. As expected more participants came from the academe which totaled 67, Business Sector – 27, National Government Agencies – 28, Local Government Units – 10, IT Companies/Stakeholders – 30.

Ø The Opening Ceremonies were graced by Hon. Glenda Bongao, Senior Board member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Albay representing Governor Joey Salceda and Mr. Ralph Andes, Consultant of Congressman Al Francis Bichara. Mayor Noel Rosal gave the Opening Remarks while Director Digs Aguilar of DTI for the Conference Overview.

Ø This year’s conference centered on Legapi City’s IT capabilities as one of the country’s next wave cities focusing on the Talent or Manpower being the major concern of investors.

Ø No less than the Secretary of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Hon. Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III was one of the Resource Speakers who discussed the topic: “ Philippine Policy Directions and Programs for ICT Development: A Glimpse of the Countryside”.

Ø In his discussion, Sec. Chua presented the IT Scorecards of the different next wave cities including Legazpi which ranks number 21 with a general weighted average (4 components) of 63.7%. The City scores well at the Cost, Infra and Business Environment while quite low at the Talent component which drags the city’s overall scorecard. According to Sec. Chua, it does not mean that Legazpi City does not have the qualified manpower but there seems to be a problem in data gathering as far as talent supply is concerned. He did encourage local ICT advocates lead by AICTA to do the necessary research in order to get the correct figures to be able to rectify the existing records.

Ø Mr. Jojo Uligan, Executive Director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines discussed the ‘Updates and Challenges in the Call Center Industry in the Domestic and International Arena.

Ø Mr. Jonathan de Luzuriaga, Executive Director of the Business Processing Association of the Phil., ably discussed two topics, namely: Industry Outlook and Emerging Skills Requirement in ICT and Enhancing Academe-Industry Links: Vital in Sustaining the Country’s Momentum in ICT”.

Ø Mr. de Luzuriaga presented the strengths and weaknesses (in a case study) of Legazpi as destination for ICT businesses and projects being a next wave city. Per their industry’s latest data, Legazpi City’s manpower absorption capacity is 6,000 available to prospective locators be it in the voice and non-voice services which remains idle at the moment because the city currently employs only more than a thousand of these people. This only means investors would have no problem hiring people at this point in time should they decide to locate now.

Ø Despite the City’s initiatives and active promotional activities, according to Lzuriaga, there seems to be a problem along the way that might have caused lower investor confidence to locate. For one, Mr. de Luzuriaga even asked on what Legazpi City is really promoting, is it Legazpi City per se or Embarcadero? And therefore he made the following suggestions and recommendations for Legazpi City to move on and gain a much higher ground in the world of ICT:

q Single United Front
q Find your Niche
q Tell them your story
q Talent is Key
q Cost will always be a Factor
q Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
q Leverage your Strengths
q Roadmap

Ø The Infrastructure capabilities and readiness of the city was also presented by the Telecommunications companies such as Bayantel and PLDT while the IT preparedness and readiness of the City was presented by Mr. James Nunez in behalf of Mayor Rosal.

Ø After the presentations, the Panel Discussion followed which was facilitated by Mr. Willie Tanagon, IT Consultant of Quezon City.

Ø Among the panelists were:

1. Engr. Martin Valeras, Dean of the Engineering and Computer Studies of Divine Word College of Legazpi
2. Engr. Arnulfo Malinis, Dean of Bicol University-Polangui Campus
3. Dr. Amelia Dorosan, Dean of Bicol University College of Science
4. Mr. Rene Castro, Business Center Manager of Informatics Computer Institute
5. Ms. Rosemarie Q. Rey, President of SLTCFI
6. Engr. Ma. Teresa Bondad, Dean of the Polytechnic Institute of Aquinas University of Legazpi
7. Engr. Elma Naz, Education Supervisor of CHED RO V
8. Engr. Owen Canale, Manager of Matsuoka Projects Phil., Inc.
9. Mr. Jose Maria Lopez, OIC Manager of Content Online Services, Inc.
10. Vijayendra, HR Manager of Sutherland in Camarines Sur

Ø The discussion was so animated with the active participation of the audience during the Open Forum. Among the issues raised were:

1. Dr. Lita Ago raised the issue on the impact to the changing health lifestyles of the call center agents and other IT workers such as becoming chain smokers and the change in work hours especially those in the graveyard shift. What mechanisms or programs the industry are implementing (in the respective companies) in order to control or at least minimize the impact of these emerging unhealthy lifestyles of the workers. The second question raised by Dr. Ago is on the status of the Medical Transcription sub-industry where to her knowledge is declining.

2. A representative from DepEd raised the issue on the problem of poor English by the students. According to him, there seems to be problem in the country’s educational system where primary education is quite weak leading to poor performance (especially in grammar) by the students when they go to higher education.

3. A representative from DOH raised the wage issue. Are there industry standards being followed aside from that being imposed by the government as basic wage? What benefits are given to the industry workers?

Ø The panel discussions primarily revolved on the manpower issues and problems being faced by the industry players. What mechanisms or initiatives the local higher educational institutions, CHED and other stakeholders are doing in order to improve on the province’s performance in the education sector? How does the province respond to the issue on climate change given its impact to the industry especially so that Albay is known for its being in the typhoon belt?

Ø Mr. Tanagon pointed out that Legazpi City or Albay in general should have 200 qualified ready to deploy workers at any given time because this is the primary consideration of investors and locators in considering the area as a favored investment destination.

Ø From the discussions and issues raised, there was an apparent need to review the plans and programs previously prepared by the local ICT advocates as almost all of the said issues especially on manpower were already raised and given appropriate plans and programs.

E-Commerce for Bicol MSMEs

Bicol MSMEs Attend Training on DOING BUSINESS IN THE WEB:
The E-Commerce Challenge Made Easy
for Filipino SMEs

The Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the key components in the chain of institutions contributing to national economic growth. Enhancing them is of pivotal importance in maintaining Philippine dynamism in the 21st century. They are the major vehicles in the growth and sustainable development of a globally competitive Philippine economy. Currently, SMEs constitute 99.6% of all business establishments in the country, employ 69.9% of the country’s labor force and contribute to some 32% of value-added (The Philippine National SME Development agenda booklet).

With the significant role the MSMEs play in shaping the country’s economy, the DTI and the OK Bicol Foundation, in partnership with the Albay ICT Association, Inc. have initiated the conduct of the above training as one mechanism to further enhance the competitiveness of the sector both in the domestic and international markets through e-commerce.

The training was conducted last July 16-18, 2009 as one of the major activities during the celebration of the Annual SMED Week in the Province of Albay. It was held at the Southern Luzon Technological College Foundation, Inc, (SLTCFI) Computer Laboratory at Orosite, Legazpi City and was attended by 18 MSMEs from the provinces of Albay, Masbate and Sorsogon.

Acting as resource persons were Ms. Rosalie Buenaagua, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist of the SLTCFI-BPO Incubation Center, Mr. Jay-R Redita, a Web Developer of the same company and Mr. Gabriel Libacao also an SEO Specialist and IT Consultant from Manila. They alternately discussed the program’s four major modules, namely:

Module 1: E-Commerce and the Filipino SMEs. – This module aims to stimulate
SMEs to venture into using ICT in their businesses. Thus, this module
is consists of Fundamental e-commerce, the Philippines’ e-Commerce
Law, relevant internet statistics and presentation of websites.

Module 2: Putting “E” to Business Processes – This module aims to elevate SMEs
knowledge on how ICT can improve their businesses. It consists of
the following: Showcasing to the online world, business processes
and e-marketplaces. Success stories are included to inspire SMEs in
their journey in the online environment.

Module 3: Online Payment. This module aims to update SMEs about the possible
payment methods that they can choose from as supply chain player, as
customer or as supplier.

Module 4: Technical and Marketing Aspects. This module aims to provide SME
Decision makers the basics in setting up and management of website
As an e-commerce technique.

At the end of the three-day training, the participants were appreciative of their learning and started creating their own simple websites availing the services of free web hosting companies provided by the trainers. As an additional incentive to the participants, the management of SLTCFI offered the facilities of its Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)Incubation Center at the Embarcadero for a very minimal rate to incubate their websites using the services of the center’s search engine optimizers and web marketing specialists.

Legazpi City Creates New ICT Council


The City Government of Legazpi, cognizant of the potentials of the Information and Communications Technology Industry for the development of the city, has created the Legazpi City Information and Communications Technology Council (LCICTC) through Executive Order No. 28 series of 2008 signed by Mayor Noel Rosal last December 2, 2008.

The Council primarily aims to serve as the catalytic link between the industry and the government and other stakeholders in the implementation of programs and projects for the sustainable development of the industry. Prior to the creation of the Council, the City Government of Legazpi has already recognized the significant role of the industry in the development of the city, thus making it the City’s One Town One Product (OTOP).

The officers and members are the following:

Honorary Chairman : Legazpi City Mayor
Chairman : AICTA President
Vice-Chairman : CHED
Secretariat : DTI-Albay, LGU Legazpi, SLTCFI
Members : Telco : All Telco Companies
Utilties : ALECO
Academe : BU, AUL, APTVIA
Government : TESDA-Albay
NGO : Albay Bankers Ass’n.
Real Estate : Embarcadero
IT Vendors : All Electronics Ent.

The induction ceremony of the officers and members was done during the 2nd Albay ICT Conference last December 10, 2008 with Hon. Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) as inducting officer.

Albay Holds 2nd ICT Conference


The last couple of years have seen a dramatic surge in the development of IT industry specifically in the Offshoring & Outsourcing sub-industry. In Albay province, specifically in the City of Legazpi, several IT related companies such as those engaged in data conversion/processing (Business Process Outsourcing), Call Centers and Medical Transcription Companies were established. These companies at present employ more than a thousand workers coming not only from the province of Albay but the entire Bicol Region. More recently, a local investor has applied with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for the development of a private IT Park located in the reclamation area of Legazpi

The developments in the local ICT sector were a result of the local industry stakeholders’ continuous advocacy efforts in promoting Legazpi as a good location for ICT-related investments and projects. Likewise, these efforts have resulted to the recognition of Legazpi City as one of the country’s “Next Wave Cities” or ICT Hubs and the Albay ICT Association, Inc. (AICTA) as the only recognized ICT group from the Bicol Region by the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT). Through this recognition, Legazpi City has been put in the ICT Map of the country making it in the priority areas for consideration by investors and locators.

Despite these positive developments, the province is still beset by a number of problems particularly in the ICT infrastructure and manpower availability. In one instance, one of the data conversion companies started complaining on the reliability/technical capability of telecommunications service providers that hamper their operations and subsequently affect their output and delivery to their clients abroad.

The ongoing world economic slump brought about by the financial crisis in the US, which happens to be the major market of these BPO companies, has definitely brought a cascading effect to the industry.

In view of the above situation, the local key players/stakeholders in the industry led by the Albay ICT Association, Inc., gathered together last December 10, 2008 for a one day Conference to discuss possible strategies and initiatives to minimize the impact especially to the MSME IT players.

The activity was held at Hotel Casablanca and was participated in by 126 IT players and stakeholders. Hon. Commissioner Monchito Ibrahim of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) was the guest speaker. Industry leaders were invited as resource speakers. Mr. Jojo Uligan, Executive Director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP) presented the State of the Philippine Call Center Industry: Its prospects Amidst the World’s Economic Slowdown” while Ms. Gigi Virata, Information and Research Director of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) discussed the topic: “Next wave cities as Potential Locations for the BPO sub-sector.

Aside from the plenary topics, the activity also served as venue for the local stakeholders particularly the telecom sector, the real state developers and the existing locators to present their capabilities and services being offered. The two pioneering locators, the Content Online Services, Inc. (COSI) and M3 Medical Management Services Group, Inc. also presented their testimonies, experiences and decision for putting up and expanding their facilities in Legazpi. This was done basically to give inspiration to the small BPO companies in the city started up by local entrepreneurs.

Through a workshop, the Provincial ICT Action Plan for 2009 was formulated. The plan was focused on the four components of the ICT Scorecard namely: Talent, Infrastructure, Cost of Doing Business and Business Environment. Particular attention was given to the scorecard especially on the “talent/manpower” component because it serves as the primary basis for prospective locators in considering an area as a possible location for their investments and projects.

The one-day Conference was concluded at the Embarcadero de Legazpi wherein the participants were toured at the on-going construction of the soon to be opened newest tourism destination cum IT Park in the Bicol Region.

Legazpi: The Next Wave City for ICT in the Philippines


Legazpi City, the Regional Administrative Center of the Bicol Region, the capital city and the center for trading and commerce of the Province of Albay, is now one of the Philippines’ Regional Hubs for Information and Communications Technology. This recognition has been conferred with the city after it has been showcased in the Philippines’ Next Wave Cities during the 8th E-Services Philippines (ESP) Global Sourcing Conference and Exhibition 2008 last February 11-12 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

Along with 14 other Regional IT Hubs dubbed as “Next W ave Cities” in the county, Legazpi City has been pre-selected as a location of IT excellence based on the presence of an established ICT Council (Albay ICT Association, Inc.) in the locality and the favorable score it garnered on the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) IT scorecard.

As a participant in the ESP 2008, Legazpi City has earned enough positive and remarkable gains. The 10-minute presentation of Hon. Mayor Noel Rosal in the Regional IT Hubs Forum provided him the opportunity to present the advantages of the City in terms of manpower and infrastructure readiness and thereby selling it as a location of choice for ICT-enabled investments and projects to potential investors and locators.

In the two-day exhibition, the City Government featured the Embarcadero IT Park, a PEZA-declared private IT Park located at the Legazpi Port Area. The IT Park is the city’s major development project being offered to interested investors and locators. It attracted a significant number of visitor-inquiries which was followed by actual site visits a week after the affair. Negotiations between interested locators and investors and the embarcadero management are on-going.

The ESP participation did not only benefit the Embarcadero IT Park as the focus of the promotional effort. Some of the 40 delegates from Albay (who happened to be the biggest delegation to the ESP 2008) particularly the home grown Business Process Outsourcing companies also got a share in the gains. One participant with a Call Center company even negotiated for accounts from two US-based companies namely Freeway and AT & T. Representatives of these companies have already conducted site visits and inspections of the facilities of their local partners. Impressed by the local technical capabilities, the foreign companies have decided to activate their accounts with the local partner and operations are now in full swing generating close to 50 jobs and counting.

It can be recalled that prior to Legazpi City’s participation in the ESP 2008, local ICT advocates and stakeholders have been actively advocating and implementing local initiatives and projects to develop the growth and development of the local ICT Industry.

One such initiative is the giving of a more focused industry development effort by the Department of Trade and Industry. In consultation with the Local Government Unit of Legazpi and other stakeholders, the ICT-ENABLED SERVICES has been chosen as the City’s One-Town-One Product (OTOP) under the program. With manpower as its major resource, being the center of Education not only of Albay but of the Bicol Region as well, the city produces 6,000 plus qualified and trainable manpower pool, a major requirement of IT investors.

Another worth mentioning is the very dynamic organization of local ICT advocates and stakeholders, the Albay ICT Association, Inc. (AICTA), formed in year 2003. The association is actively partnering with the Local Government Units of Albay and the different National Government Agencies (NGAs) in implementing various activities and projects for ICT development in the province.

Aware of the significant benefits the ICT industry would provide to the city particularly in generating employment and investments, the City Government has amended its Investment and Incentive Code to attract new investments from the industry. It now includes new Priority Development and Investment Areas in the Urban Center specifically ICT-enabled and other Service-oriented projects. It also provides New Incentives both to Existing and New Investors. These incentives are in addition to the ones being given by PEZA, BOI and other incentive-giving entities.

Added to these incentives is the very dynamic, supportive and ICT advocate and marketer Chief Executive of the City. Mayor Noel Rosal is personally on top of all ICT-related initiatives and activities of the City. In fact, in order to ensure that the city can provide the required manpower requirement, the Mayor has put up a fund to finance the study now pay later program for qualified students-trainees who would undergo short-term ICT-related courses/trainings such as call center agents, medical transcription and the like.

As a consequence of these activities and initiatives, several tangible milestones have been achieved so far which would further support and strengthen Legazpi City’s campaign to attract more ICT investments and projects.

To-date, there are already eight BPO companies operating in the City. These include four Call Centers; one of which was opened only last February 8, 2008, two data conversion and processing companies, one medical transcription and one doing engineering and architectural designs development. These companies provide employment to more than 2,000 IT professionals and workers.

The projected upsurge in demand for commercial space by prospective IT locators in the city has convinced a local investor to develop a sea-front property into an IT Park, the Embarcadero IT Park. The park is a master planned PEZA-declared IT Park that costs P 700 million which will provide 15, 477 sq.m. of IT-ready space to would-be locators and investors. The Park is an integral part of the Embarcadero de Legazpi, a world-class destination lifestyle and entertainment center in bay front development in the Philippines located at the Legazpi Port Area and is set to be opened on August 8, 2008.

With all the industry requirements in place, TALENTS, INFRASTRUCTURES, LOWER COST OF DOING BUSINESS AND A FAVORABLE BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT, Legazpi City is ready to welcome and accommodate IT locators and investors alike.

Business Name Registration in Albay Increases


With the local economy starting to recover from the devastating effect brought about by super typhoon Reming in the last quarter of 2006, a remarkable 432 or 53.40% increase in Business Name registration has been noted during the first quarter of 2008 as compared to the same period in year 2007. During the latter, only 809 businesses were registered which rose to 1,241 on the same period this year.

Corollary to this upsurge, investments generated from business name registrations also increased by 186.20%. From Php 205,173,000.00 total investments for the same period in 2007, it rose to Php 587,191,000.00 in 2008. The high increase in investment can be attributed to the rise in the per capita investment in 2008 which on the average, a business registrant invests P 473,159.55 as compared to only Php 253,613.00 in year 2007.

Another contributory factor to the growth in business name registration in the province is the strict implementation of Local Government Units of applicable business licensing requirements in their respective areas. Special mention are the LGUs of Camalig, Ligao City and Sto. Doming that strictly require DTI Business Name Registration before they issue the corresponding Mayor’s Permit or Business License.

It is also worth mentioning that the basic infrastructure such as power and telecommunications in the province are already back to normal operations as compared during the same period in 2007. It has been quite easy and speedy to process business name registrations this year as the internet is functioning well and there was no recorded long periods of power interruptions as compared in year 2007.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

LEGAZPI CITY JOINS e-services Philippines 2008

The City Government of Legazpi is now busy preparing for its participation in the e-services Philippines 2008. The City will join 15 other Local Government Unit-participants in the Regional IT Hubs/Next Wave Cities Forum and Exhibition slated on February 11-12, 2008 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

During this Forum and Exhibition that Legazpi City will be given a chance to present itself as an ideal and perfect location for ICT-enabled investments and projects to prospective investors both local and foreign. The past couple of years have seen a dramatic change in the IT landscape in the City. It has amended its Local Investment and Incentive Code to specifically include ICT Industry as one of its Priority sectors that shall be given incentives. It has also actively partnered with the private-sector developers specifically the Embarcadero Land Ventures towards preparing the city to be an IT Hub. Its latest project in a reclaimed area at the Legazpi Port, has been declared by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) as an IT Park.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The 2007 South Luzon Area Business Conference (SOLAB), the annual gathering of members and officers of the different local chambers of commerce from region 4-A (CALABARZON), region 4-B (MIMAROPA) and Region 5 (Bicol), will be held in Legazpi City on August 3-4, 2007 at the Alyssa Convention Hall, Alicia Hotel. It will be hosted by the Albay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This year's SOLAB centers on the prospects and development efforts for the Tourism and Agriculture sectors of the three regions.

Aside from the conference, the Department of Trade and Industry-Albay will also mount a Trade Fair at the conference venue itself to promote the different products and services available and being produced in the three regions. The participants are mostly beneficiaries of the One Town One Product project of the government.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


As the lead agency in the implementation of the One-Town-One Product project of the National Government, the Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office will hold a three-day Assessment and Planning Workshop for the Project Stakeholders on November 21-23, 2006 at the People's Hall, Albay Capitol, Legazpi City.

The activity primarily aims to evaluate the impact of the program to the various beneficiary-enterprises and at the same time to formulate plans and programs to further develop the sectors identified.

In the Province of Albay, each municipality has been identified with specific product and service distinct in the area. These products and service are categorized in three major sectors which include Gifts and Housewares (ceramics, abaca handicrafts, cutlery, seagrass products, lasa (softbroom) etc), Processed Food (Pinangat, Longanisa, Linanggang (native foods), Kalamay (sugar cane) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

To ensure that the objectives of the program are being carried out, various assistance were provided to each sector which include business counseling, skills and entrepreneurial training, product development and marketing through participation to several local, national and international trade fairs. These assistances provided were made possible through the convergence of support from Local Government Units, National Government Agencies and the Private sector.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office is inviting SERVICE SHOP OWNERS in the Province of Albay to attend the ORIENTATION ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CHLOROFLUOROCARBON (CFC) PHASE-OUT PLAN on June 15, 2006, 1:30 p.m. at the DTI-Albay Conference Room, 2/F ACCI Foundation Bldg., Bonot, Legazpi City.

The Orientation aims to update the sector on the Amendments to the Implementing Rules and REgulations of DAO No. 3 s. of 2006 - Accreditation of Refrigeration and Aircon Repair and Service Enterprises. Said Department Order will take effect on July, 2006.

Interested participants may contact DTI-Albay Office at Tel. No. 820-6830 or 480-6834. First Come First Serve. Please look for Mr. Ruben Sombon. Registration is FREE.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


The Albay Information and Communications Technology Association, Inc. (AICTA), is non-stock and non-profit organization duly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under Registration Number CN200300070 on January 24, 2003.

The organization generally aims to help ensure, accelerate and sustain the growth of the ICT Industry in the Province of Albay. Specifically, it aims to: 1. Be a dynamic advocate of ICT, 2. Serve as a forum for the continued realization of the potentials of ICT as a sunrise industry and, 3. Develop a sense of belonging for the ICT sector and relate industries.

Since its inception in year 2003, the association has already accomplished a number of tangible project initiatives, among which are:

1. ICT Walking Tour to ICT Companies in Metro Manila - April 25-28, 2004
2. INFOTEK 2004 - August 5-7, 2004
3. ICT Job Caravan - August 5-6, 2004
4. Prepared the Provincial ICT Profile
5. ICT WAlking Tour - Batch 2 - Jan. 10-13, 2005
6. Consultative Meeting with Telcos Operating in ALbay - January 28, 2005
7. ICT Orientation Seminar for Albay SMED Council Members - FEb. 22, 2005
8. Albay ICT Conference - April 28, 2005
9. Curriculum Enhancement Seminar and Consultative Workshop for the Academe
June 17, 2005
10. ICT Orientation & Consultative Dialogue with Local Chief Executives in Albay
June 17, 2005
11. ICT Industry Provincial Planning Workshop facilitated by Commissioner
Damian Domingo O. Mapa of the Commission on Information and Communications
Technology - September 7, 2005
12. Regularly holds meetings and dialogues with different industry stakeholders
to obtain inputs and insights for the continuous development of the ICT
Industry in Albay.

The Province of Albay plays host to the following Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies:

1. MBS Tek Corporation
2. Divine Word College of Legazpi

1. M3 Medical Management Services Group, Inc.
2. Textswitch Unlimited, Inc.
3. Bicol Transcription Masters, Inc.
4. Mayon Transcription Services, Inc.

1. Content Online Services, Inc.
2. Creative Page Online
3. All Nations e-Language Conversion

In response to the increasing demand for medical transcriptionists, a Medical Transcription School, the MTC Academy, has set up a branch in Tabaco City. Local schools such as the SL Technological College Foundation, Divine Word College of Legazpi and Aquinas University have offered training for Call Center agents and transcriptionists.

Monday, May 15, 2006


The Department of Trade and Industry-Albay Provincial Office and the Provincial Government of Albay jointly undertake the first Provincial ONE-TOWN-ONE-PRODUCT (OTOP) Trade Fair at the Albay Astrodome Compound, Legazpi City, Philippines on May 11-22, 2006 in celebration of the Magayon Festival 2006 of the Province of Albay.

This event is an offshoot of the DTI's and LGU's continuing efforts to develop and promote specific products or services which a particular municipality or town is known for under the OTOP-Philippines program of the government. The DTI takes the lead in the implementation of the program in coordination with LGUs and other key line agencies of the government.

The trade fair is still on-going and is participated in by the following Local Government Units (towns): 1. Tiwi-Ceramics, 2. Tabaco-Cutlery, 3. Sto. Domingo-Native Foods (linangang), 4. Daraga-Abaca products, 5. Manito-Soft broom (lasa), 6. Camalig-Pinangat, 7. Guinobatan-Longanisa, 8. Oas-Rice puto, 9. Polangui-Muscovado (kalamay) 10. Libon-Seagrass (agas).

Interested buyers can visit the site and avail of factory priced products which ranges from native delicacies/foods, cutlery, abaca bags and accessories and ceramics. The latter serves as the Regional OTOP model for Bicol.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


INFOTEK (Information Technology) Show 2006, now on its fifth season, is a most awaited biennial event in Albay Province, Philippines. This activity is being held in celebration of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Week in the province every third week of July, and this year, it will be held on July 18-21, 2006 at the Albay Astrodome, Legazpi City. It is being spearheaded by the Albay Information & Communications Technology Association, Inc. (AICTA), a local group that actively advocates on the development of the ICT Industry in the province under the auspices of the Albay Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council.

INFOTEK 2006 primarily aims to showcase and promote the latest in Information and Communications TEchnology (hardware and software) to the local people specially the small and medium entrepreneurs; for them to appreciate, use and maximize the benefits derived in applying these latest technologies in their personal and business endeavors.

With the theme: The World Needs IT, Albay has IT, this year's show featured the following:

Exhibit and Sale of Latest Information and Communication Technology Products
and Services of 26 IT-related companies generating a total sales of P 1.5
million. This year's exhibit was participated-in by three Telecommunication
Companies, two Internet Service Providers, two Vendors of Computer
Hardwares/Supplies, three Vendors of Electronic/Office Equipment, two
Multimedia/Software Development Companies, six IT Schools and Institutions and
four Business Process Outsourcing Companies (Call Centers, Medical
Transcription and Data Conversion/Processing)

There were 19 short-duration ICT Seminars conducted participated-in by close to
2,000 participants from various sectors such as the academe, SMEs, IT
professionals, students, businessmen and other industry groups. This year's
seminars were held simultaneously in four venues, namely: Albay Astrodome,
People's Hall-Albay Capitol, Ibalong Conference Room - City Hall Compound and
at the DTI-Regional Office No. 5 Conference Room.

The ICT Job Caravan was participated-in by five Business Process Outsourcing
(BPO)companies. Around 300 applications on various available IT-related jobs
were received during the four-day activity.

Product Presentations and Demos by sponsoring companies. The presentations and
demos also served as an avenue for the IT-firms to update their clients and
prospective customers on the latest technologies and products available in the

Aside from the above main features, other activities were also held during the
four-day affair. Among which are: ICT Livelihood Opportunity Seminars, Free
Internet Surfing and VOIP, Business Networking and the Showcase of Philippine
Raw Materials.

This year's show was ably supported by the Department of Trade and Industry, Provincial Government of Albay and the Albay Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The successful conduct of the four-day event was also made possible through the financial and kind contribution of the following sponsors; Five-Star Sponsors: All Electronics Enterprises, Bayantel, Canon, Globe Telecoms, Philcopy, CAT College; Four-Star Sponsors: Divine Word College of Legazpi and All Nations e-Language Conversion, Inc.; Three-Star Sponsors: Informatics Computer Institute, Jasmi Compuer Arts Center, Globalink Internet and Pinoy Big Water.