By JADE LOPEZ, Reporter
THE creative sector of the information technology (IT) industry in Cebu, composed of animators, graphic artists, gaming, and film artists, is eyeing to link with academic institutions in order to sustain supply of local talents.
Bonifacio Belen, managing director of IT advocacy group Cebu Educational Development Foundation for IT (Cedfit) said a focus group discussion was initiated by the organization inorder to tie up the creative IT departments from different companies and the IT schools so the latter can provide an effective curriculum guide on the actual job requirement of the industry.
“What happens is that most of the universities are offering a generalized courses in IT. Specialized skills such as animation, is not being aggressively pushed, although there is a profound need for these kinds of skills in the world, including a promising future in Hollywood for animators,” Belen told a press conference.
During the discussion with industry players, leading universities here that are offering IT-related courses were urged to provide a good creative IT courses and program, such as introducing majors that focus on harnessing the skills of creative Information Technologists in multi-media.
Belen noted developing the creative artists in the IT industry will further strengthen Cebu’s bid to become an “Innovation Island” in Asia.
Through the assistance of some sectors and organizations like the British Council-led “Creative Cebu” program, the Gaming Association in the Philippines, Animation Council in Manila, and the creative IT firms in Cebu, he said the local IT sector will soon begin to quantify the number of good creative IT specialists.
An industry situation report released by Institute for Development and Econometric Analysis (IDEA) in partnership with Bayan Telecommunications Inc., revealed that the industry is currently suffering from challenges of brain-drain, lack of ready manpower pool, and the perceived gap between the demand and supply for creative services in the country.
Although the Department of Trade and Industry and the Animation Council of the Philippines have implemented a joint effort to boost sustainability of the industry, this has to be re-enforced further to accommodate the expected demand of 25,000 artists by 2010, the report said.
According to IDEA, the threat of artists’ migration has continuously haunt the industry, as incentives offered abroad are set to attract artists away from the Philippines, which depletes even more the already scarce pool of labor force.
Belen stressed on the need for Cebu to put its step up ahead of other areas in the country, or Asia, banking on Cebu’s position as the number one emerging Business Process Outsourcing destination in the world.