Press Release
April 16, 2017


Senator Sonny Angara has urged the government to fast-track its programs on improving internet speed and connectivity in the country, especially in far-flung areas, to create more high-value online jobs in untapped communities.

Angara said the Rural Impact Sourcing Program of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has a huge potential in providing high-paying and sustainable jobs in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, where there is high population but low employment due to lack of investors.

Impact sourcing is a subsector of the IT-business process management (IT-BPM) industry that pushes forth access to digital markets and rural BPOs as tools for creating internet-based jobs in disadvantaged communities.

"While the IT-BPM industry continues to thrive as one of the country's top career providers, there seems to be a growing disparity in opportunities provided to people living in our major cities as opposed to those in far-flung provinces. We must bridge this gap and bring opportunities in the countryside where they are needed the most," Angara said.

The Rural Impact Sourcing Program was implemented in 2013, and has since attracted some locals to work online as their employment option.

Among the program's success stories is in Kapatagan, Lanao Del Norte where the locals had set up homegrown companies in their own municipalities. This encouraged other rural areas to replicate this model in their own localities.

According to the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, impact sourcing operations have also been established in Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Balanga in Bataan, and in San Nicolas in Ilocos Norte.

To help develop and expand the program, Angara pushed for the increase of the DICT's 2017 budget for its rural impact sourcing program to as much as P22.5 million.

Angara, who sponsored and defended the DICT's budget, also noted that the Congress allocated P1.8 billion for the Juan Konek (Free Wifi) Program of the government.

"We are hopeful that our vision of the government bringing 21st century opportunities to the farthest, most impoverished communities of the country will finally be realized," said the senator who is one authors of the law creating the DICT.

"Dapat mayroon din silang oportunidad sa kani-kanilang mga probinsya. Hindi na dapat nila kailangang pumunta pa sa Metro Manila o sa Cebu para makakuha ng online jobs. They should be able to stay where their families are and have meaningful work," he added.

Early this month, the DICT, in partnership with the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, conducted the first Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference in Davao City, attended by more than 300 delegates including major stakeholders from different local government units, various groups of freelancers and virtual workers, online platform providers, and advocates of impact sourcing from all over the country.

During the said event, the Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines was established to promote the growth of the online outsourcing industry and to advocate for the welfare of online workers in the Philippines.

In 2016, the IT-BPM industry provided direct employment to some 1.15 million Filipinos, and generated $22.9 billion in revenue.

"The internet does not only connect us with our friends and loved ones. It is also a way to create jobs--to make our economy more inclusive. We should work together towards opening up more internet opportunities for all of our countrymen," Angara said.

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