A BUSINESS process outsourcing (BPO) industry said their industry is looking towards doubling employees to work in information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) in the next five years.

The Information Technology Davao (IT Davao) president and Next BPO Solutions CEO and founder Eric Manalastas said they are aiming to double the number workforce of the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) in Davao Region from 75,000 to 150,000 by 2028.

Manalastas said their current target for Davao Region is in line with the IT-BPM Association of the Philippines’ goal of reaching 2.5 million workers by 2028.

“We’re looking to grow the workforce from 75,000 to 150,000 (in Davao Region) and there are always available jobs (in the IT-BPM industry),” Manalastas said during the MinDA’s Media Forum at Abreeza Ayala Mall, Davao City on January 19, 2023.

Manalastas said that currently, IT-BPM industries are operating at around only 80 percent to 85 percent of capacity, with approximately 40 percent to 60 percent of their employees in a working hybrid setup, or working partly in the physical workplace, and partly remotely or online. According to him, the hybrid working model will not go away soon, thus the IT-BPM industry should be ready to adapt.

He also said the availability and stability of IT-BPM jobs should not be an issue for both the industry and job seekers. He added the jobs will always be there, it will always be the lack of qualified talent to fill those jobs.

“There will be a lot of factors for employees staying in the BPO industry, among others, is they (BPO industry) are fond of employee engagement. Each company does what they can to keep their employees,” he said.

However, he added that there are also factors why people move around jobs such as high-salary offers, and unexpected circumstances that concern foreign clients.

He also said that IT-BPM workers also prefer to change jobs to either establish start-up companies, freelancing, other online works, and entrepreneurship.

“Because globally the BPO sector is to be expected to grow, in fact, according to IBPAP (IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines) it is expected to grow the compounded growth rate of about 10 percent”

To achieve their targeted growth, Manalastas said that they will be aligning their plans with the academe and Technical Education And Skills Development Authority (Tesda) for future graduates to be qualified and updated with technology.

Manalastas is also a proponent of Stem-LCC (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Living-Learning Community) which aims to ignite the interest of the youth in sciences and mathematics. ICE