DOST-ICTO targets 500,000 web-based workers from countryside by 2016

By Ma. Cristina C. Arayata

MANILA, Aug 16 (PNA) — The Department of Science and Technology-Information and Communications Technology (DOST-ICTO) targets 500,000 Filipinos in the provinces to be freelance web-based workers in different online job platforms by 2016.

According to Emmy Lou Delfin, program manager of ICTO’s e-Innovation Group, the country has more than one million freelance online-based workers who deal with different clients around the world.

She said that through the Rural Impact Sourcing Program, ICTO targets to generate more career opportunities for those in socio-economically disadvantaged areas by providing meaningful ICT-enabled jobs. The ICTO conducts regular workshops in different provinces to help the residents to learn how to become successful workers in the digital era.

Meanwhile, Evan Tan, regional director of Freelancer.com in Southeast Asia, cited that a major benefit of working online is that it negates the necessity of moving to the big cities to find a job.

“Since most ICT-based opportunities are not heavily dependent on location to provide career growth to every individual, we would like to take advantage of it by promoting in-demand online jobs to areas where there is high population but low employment due to lack of industry investors,” Delfin added.

Tan seconded that working online could give everyone an equal opportunity to pursue what he/she wants to do, no matter what his economic, social, and educational backgrounds are.

Furthermore, Tan noted that students can start practicing their profession even before they graduate with the availability of online jobs, especially those which do not require a college degree such as creative and IT-related jobs.

Tan said that traditional employment will no longer be the norm and it will be replaced by contingent workers such as freelancers and part-time workers. “The long-term trend of hiring contingent workers will continue to accelerate with more than 80 percent of large corporations planning to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce,” said Tan, and added that online freelancing is the future of work. (PNA)