Iligan City unveils ‘SITIO’ program to create more digital jobs

Private and public stakeholders of Iligan City launched last June 27 an initiative to create more digital jobs and opportunities under a concrete business framework named as SITIO (Social Innovation Through Impact Outsourcing).

The proponents and supporters of the SITIO program during the launch in Iligan City

Heading the launch were acting Iligan mayor Jemar Vera Cruz, city councilors Jesse Ray Balanay and Belinda Lim, lawyer Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, the author of SITIO, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Mindanao Cluster 2 head Eva May Dela Rosa.

SITIO was principally developed by Batapa-Sigue, as part of her “Future of Work” project as a Philippine Eisenhower Fellow in 2017, and as a continuing commitment as one the outstanding women in nation service (TOWNS) for 2016 in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) and former president of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP).

Vera Cruz called on Iliganons to unite for ICT initiatives and expressed the support of his office for SITIO. He lauded the initiative of Iligan councilor Jesse Ray Balanay who is the main convenor for SITIO Iligan.

Dela Rosa also expressed support her support and outlined the different projects of DICT that positively complement SITIO such as the Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) trainings and Tech4Ed Centers.

Balanay, joined by councilor Belinda Lim and ICT consultant Andrews Libradilla, cited all the attendees especially the organized groups of freelances, bloggers, and startup founder and conveyed the appeal of the SITIO Iligan to corporations to outsource some of their campaigns to Iligan for SITIO to scale up.

SITIO is a holistic approach to address unemployment and lack of investment and economic opportunities in areas where ICT-enabled companies have not located but the availability of talent, infrastructure, connectivity, business dynamism and other factors necessary for global services are present.

Batapa-Sigue said social innovation and impact sourcing are two different global concepts that can be combined to create concrete solutions to generate jobs in Iligan that can positively affect geographically disadvantaged, marginalized and depressed areas. She hopes that after piloting SITIO Iligan, other cities can follow.

SITIO encourages a city to promote social enterprise that applies business strategies and earning income or profits for external shareholders to bring about concrete social change such as job generation, talent development and innovation.

The components of SITIO are infrastructure, consisting of facility, center or building for administration and operations, PCs, other equipment, power, utility and connectivity; a dedicated and well-structured social enterprise management board and marketing team, availability of human resource, preferably trained digital online workers or freelancers with an inventory of skills inventory and portfolio and an online platforms system for virtual work. In the case of SITIO Iligan, the website is wrupup.com.

To be successful, Batapa-Sigue told Iliganons that there should be a strong collaboration among stakeholders and with industry, government support, partnerships with academe and training institutions and commitment of the key implementers.

The concrete facility of SITIO is a hybrid facility that combines the characteristics of a homegrown BPO work stations, shared service facility or co-working spaces, talent development or training center and business resource center and innovation hub.

SITIO rides on the wave of the constantly growing practice of outsourcing or the hiring a party outside a company to perform services or create goods that are usually performed in-house by the company’s own employees and staff or are non-core aspects of the business.

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