The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office of the Department of Science and Technology held a workshop in Lanao del Norte last week to train young people for online jobs that would allow them to work at home, a senior official said on Wednesday.
ICT Deputy Executive Director Mon Ibrahim said the office initiated the workshop in Kapatagan because well-known companies in the Business Process Management industry were hesitant to put up offices in Mindanao due the unstable peace and order situation in the area.
“But the government realizes the potential of online jobs, which can provide employment in these areas,” Ibrahim said.
At least 10 of the 16 poorest provinces are in Mindanao. It has an estimated 10 million-labor force with an unemployment rate of 4.5 percent and it produces about 700,000 college graduates every year in such fields as computer science, information technology and engineering.
The workshop, dubbed Rural Impact Sourcing, has been replicated in six universities in Lanao del Norte. The initial workshop in Kapatagan was attended by 200 students and young professionals.
Kapatagan Coluncilor Paul Lagura said Mindanao was blessed with resources, including a pool of talent, and “we will be helping ICT conduct re-echo workshops to other local governments about digital employment as an innovative opportunity for socio-economic growth.”
The number of online job workers in various parts of Mindanao has increased through the years and cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and Iligan have been included Freelancer.com’s top 20 Philippine cities with the most number of freelancers.
The Rural Impact Sourcing workshop was part of the digital initiative of the ICT, which aims to generate at least 1.6 million IT jobs for Filipinos by 2016 and at least 40 percent of them coming from the countryside.