QUEZON CITY — Amidst the negative perception surrounding Mindanao due to peace concerns, online jobs are seen by the government as a way to boost employment in its provinces.
To promote online jobs in Mindanao, the Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICT Office), in partnership with online job platforms Freelancer.com and Online Jobs University, has initiated a workshop on Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.
“Most of our well-known companies in the Information Technology Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry are hesitant to locate in Mindanao.” said ICT Office Deputy Executive Director Mon Ibrahim. “The government, however, realizes the potential of impact sourcing or online jobs to provide alternative means of employment in these areas.” he added.
Conducted last February, the workshop, which featured ways on how Filipinos can earn competitive income even in the comfort of their homes through online jobs, was attended by at least 200 students and young professionals.
With the support of the local government of Kapatagan, the workshop has been re-echoed
to more than six schools in Lanao del Norte.
“Mindanao is so blessed with resources. And most importantly, we also have a great pool of talent.” Kapatagan Councilor Paul Lagura said. “We will be helping the ICT office conduct re-echo workshops to other local governments about digital employment as an innovative opportunity of for socio-economic growth.”
The number of online job workers in various cities in Mindanao has been increasing over the years. In fact, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Iligan City are included in Freelancer.com’s Top 20 Philippine cities with the most number of freelancers.
Freelancer.com Regional Director for South East Asia Evan Tan says that as the world’s largest freelancing and outsourcing marketplace, “Freelancer believes that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to work, wherever and whoever they may be.” Serving as an economic platform for people in rural communities like Kapatagan in Lanao del Norte, he said Freelancer through their partnership with DOST-ICT Office is committed to uplifting the lives of Filipinos.
Scholarship and training programs were also awarded by Online Jobs University during the impact sourcing workshop. A Filipino founded web-based online training site, Online Jobs University serves as a capability development platform for those who want to build a career as an online professional.
“By encouraging our kababayans to consider doing online work for clients locally and abroad, we hope they will not leave their hometowns and families just to look for jobs that will fit their skills and competencies. Having an online career opens big doors of opportunities and possibilities for them and their hometowns.” said Online Jobs University founder Genesis Reonico.
According to the National Statistics Coordination Board, as of 2014 10 of the 16 poorest provinces of the country are in Mindanao. It has an estimate of 10 million labor force with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent. In spite of this, Mindanao produces at least 700,000 college graduates a year, which specializes in various fields such as computer science, information technology and engineering.
The recently concluded Rural Impact Sourcing workshop is part of the digitalPH initiative of the ICT Office, which aims to generate at least 1.6 million direct IT-BPM jobs for Filipinos by 2016 with at least 40 percent of this coming from the countryside.
About DOST-ICT Office – The Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology is the Philippine Government’s lead agency on ICT related matters. Its primary thrusts are in the ICT Industry Development, eGovernment, ICT policy development, Internet for all and Cybersecurity.
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