Jerry Rapes

Jerry Rapes: Head in the Cloud, feet on Cebu

IF WE do things right, Exist president and chief executive officer Jerry Rapes said, the opportunity is really big.

From $9 billion and 500,000 direct jobs in 2010, the information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector in the Philippines is targeting $25 billion in revenues and 1.3 million workers by 2016.

Rapes is optimistic about hitting the target.

“I think Filipinos are as good as anybody in the world,” he said in his Cebu office at the Asiatown IT Park. Local developers are “very good and trainable and although there are areas for improvement, they are technically sound.”

Filipino developers are good at collaborating and have an excellent command of English. “The US market is still the biggest IT market. When you get a project from the US, the Filipinos don’t need translators, they can communicate directly with the American client, partners and engineers,” Rapes said.

Skilled workers

But for the industry to thrive, it must have regular supply of skilled workers.

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Cebu needs to work to keep IT talents: Damarillo

CEBU has the potential to be the next Silicon Valley but it must deal with the movement of its talented workers to Manila and abroad and improve its marketing as a technology hub, an information technology entrepreneur said Friday.

Winston Damarillo, one of the founders of G2iX and its chief executive officer, said that because of its geography, weather and quality of life, Cebu has the makings of a technology center.

Damarillo also said local companies are cooperative with industry undertakings and there is a good partnership with the academe through such initiatives as the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for IT (Cedfit).

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Despite existence of open source products, many still use pirated software: CICT secretary

THE Philippines still lacks awareness of and support for free and open source software (FOSS), Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) Secretary Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said yesterday.

Chua, in his speech during the opening of the Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) early today, said that despite the existence of FOSS products, many Filipinos still use pirated software.

Philippine Open Source Summit OPEN SOURCE SUMMIT. The Philippine Open Source Summit at the Cebu International Convention Center. Click on photo to enlarge image.

“Regrettably, however, the more common option for many users is the purchase of pirated copies of proprietary software. There is, therefore, a need to bring open source to the awareness of users as a legitimate option and to provide the required support for its implementation,” Chua said.

Open source software are those released under a license that legalizes sharing of the application and building up on it. It got its name from the requirement of making the source code available with the software.

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