Digital Transformation, Sustainable Business, and Cybersecurity in the City of Smiles

Dec 28, 2023 | Event

BACOLOD CITY – In the 2022 Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report, the region of Negros Occidental claimed the top economy in Western Visayas for 2021. According to the PSA, Negros Occidental got the largest regional growth with 26.4 percent, whereas Bacolod City contributed 13.8 percent of overall growth.

“The sugarcane industry of Negros Island sweetened the life of many Filipinos over the years. It proves that behind Negros growth and success is the collective hard work and sacrifice of its people. Whether in the sugarcane industry or not, Negros region economy, especially Bacolod City,  keeps getting stronger and open for business ventures,” said Ellirie Aviles, IT Group, Inc.’s Senior Business Development Officer.  

SUGARBOWL The Negros Business Leaders Forum event at the Chalet, L’Fisher Hotel

This year, Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez shared that the city is about to enter its “golden age of infrastructure” as multi-billion investment projects are lined up, including major road projects from top property developers, with an estimated aggregate cost of PHP2.7 billion.

As Bacolod is currently at the center of regional development, Aviles sees the door of opportunity to venture together with the people who see value in innovation and technology in their city. 

Venturing Together

Recently, IT Group, Inc., or ITG, one of the leading IT solution partners in the ASEAN region that helps organizations with their digital transformation, visited Bacolod City for the Negros Business Leaders Forum: Navigating the Future of Business Technology event held last November at the Chalet, L’Fisher Hotel.

“As we navigate the dynamic business landscape of Western Visayas, the forum stands as an avenue for leaders to work together, creating impactful business decisions to help the people of Bacolod. This forum is not just a discussion but a lived experience, showcasing our commitment to innovation, collaboration, and sustainable progress,” Aviles said.  

VENTURERS (L-R) Digital Creative Specialist Neil Frias; Business Development Manager Grace Braga; Senior Business Development Officer Ellirie Aviles; Chief Marketing Officer Almira Navarro; Head of Business Management Solutions Rubie Grace Villamor; and Head of IT Management Solutions Rommel Bernabe

In partnership with Negros’ Rotary Council of Presidents, Rotary Club of Bacolod North, and Rotary Club of Sagay-Sinigayan, the business forum ventured into Bacolod’s economic growth and how innovation and technology can boost its emerging market.  

Almira Navarro, ITG’s Chief Marketing Officer, shared that the night was filled with new learnings, new partnerships, and a pool of solid networking among Bacolod’s movers and shakers.

“It was a night to remember, seeing leaders of Bacolod venturing together to elevate businesses through innovative solutions and modern technology. We are thrilled with pure excitement because of our shared vision, leveraging growth and development in the city of Bacolod and eventually the advancement that will benefit the entire province of Negros,” she said. 

Innovation in the City of Smiles

This year, the City of Bacolod signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with GCash to welcome digitalization in the province, making it easier and more convenient to pay government fees for its people. The joint venture amplifies the city’s readiness to embrace digitalization and harness its full potential and benefits. 

“Business leaders are the engines of economic prosperity, creators of employment opportunities, and the pioneers of technological breakthroughs,” said Patrick Mabag, the President of the Rotary Council of Presidents. “As we confront the disruptions brought by technological advancements, shifting consumer behaviors, and an increasingly interconnected global economy, our ability to adapt and innovate is paramount.”

INNOVATION Patrick Mabag, the President of the Rotary Council of Presidents

Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) held the Digital Careers Expo 2023 events in the northern part of Negros Occidental, helping LGUs to create a digital roadmap for each district to boost provincial overall growth that will cover until 2030. 

In addition, Colliers International Philippines report says Bacolod is one of the top business hubs for BPO services outside Metro Manila because it’s a competitive city that is highly urbanized and has diversified economic growth drivers. 

“Bacolod City has been on the rise, being the fourth-largest economy outside NCR. Thanks to the ever-supportive government and the movers and shakers of this city. Bacolod is indeed growing by leaps and bounds,” said Jose Adolfo Cornelio, Jr., ITG’s Managing Director for PH.

Venturing in Digital Evolution 

At the heart of the conversation, Rubie Grace Villamor, ITG’s Head of Business Management Solutions, talked about the importance of “Compliance Towards Sustainable Business”. 

“The shift towards a sustainability mindset has been revolutionary and is changing the business and investment landscape,” she said. “A sustainable business is a compliant and profitable business. It’s the way to the future and our way to stay competitive and relevant.”

Villamor showed the bigger picture of how sustainability creates a ripple effect of positive change on businesses from environmental to economical to social to corporate governance standpoint, bringing Oracle NetSuite, ITG’s trusted technological partner, as a tool and strategic solution to run a sustainable and profitable business.

BUSINESS TALK (L-R) ITG’s Head of Business Management Solutions Rubie Grace Villamor; President of Southland Colleges of Kabankalan and District Secretary of Rotary International District 3850 Juan Antonio Villaluz; President of Rural Bank of Sagay and Charter President of the Rotary Club of Sagay-Sinigayan Alex Yupangco; and ITG’s Head of IT Management Solutions Rommel Bernabe

She shared how Oracle NetSuite can help Bacolod’s businesses champion sustainability and visibility on their operational and financial data while maintaining the integrity of records necessary for regulatory compliance like BIR Computer Accounting System and E-Invoicing.

At the same time, Rommel Bernabe, ITG’s Head of IT Management Solutions, delved into digital transformation, highlighting cybersecurity as a critical aspect of modernization that protects organizations’ digital assets, intellectual property, and customer data.

Cybersecurity holds a simple truth: we want to protect something important to us. We want it to be safe and secure. And that’s the core of what we do,  providing IT security as you begin your digital transformation with us,” he said.  

Home Sweet Home in Bacolod City

At the event, Cornelio sent his heartfelt message to all the attendees. “It’s a full circle moment for us, to be honest. IT Group, Inc. is part of the Hexagon Group of Companies, where our founder, Don Simplicio Gamboa Sr., had his share of humble beginnings through his business, Bacolod Victory Hardware and now we are here with you through ITG, and it’s good to be back,” he said. 

Mabag also urged everyone to be part of the digital transformation of Bacolod saying, “We must embrace the digital revolution, not as a threat, but as an opportunity to redefine our industries and unlock new frontiers of growth.”

FULL CIRCLE MOMENT (L-R) Rotary Club of Sagay-Sinagayan Members: ITG’s Senior Business Development Officer and Club Director Ellirie Aviles; President of Rural Bank of Sagay and Club Charter President Alex Yupangco; Rotaract President Mariella Demanalata, Club President Abundio Tarrazona III; and Sagay City Local Government Executive Assistant IV and Club Immediate Past President Benson Fernandez.

“It’s always been our goal to connect with like-minded people who are interested in innovating their businesses through technology, where everyone can be part of co-creating and co-owning better solutions not only for Bacolod but hopefully for the whole province of Negros,” Cornelio ended.

Let’s venture together on your DX journey here