By the end of 2015, an estimated 1.5 million Filipinos had found work online through the Internet, earning dollars without leaving the country.
This is according to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), who said the online workers got their gigs from job portals such as UpWork.com, Freelancer.ph, and OnlineJobs.ph.
Among the jobs Filipinos excel in are writing, graphic and Web design, desktop publishing, audio and video editing, software development and virtual assistants, the agency said.
The 1.5 million Filipinos earn an average of $3 per hour and $250 per project. Income rates depend on the job?s level of difficulty as well as the worker?s online reputation, gained from ratings given by previous online employers.
In 2013, the highest recorded annual gross income for any Filipino online freelancer was that of a Cavite-based programmer who developed mobile apps for foreign clients. He earned P 7.5 million.
The DOST said the employers are usually small to medium-sized companies or individuals abroad who choose to outsource certain jobs and functions in order to be cost effective.
The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said it is promoting online jobs or impact sourcing to Filipinos in the provinces as an alternative means of earning income.
The ICT Office regularly conducts Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) workshops at various provincial locations promoting RIS to students and fresh graduates.
For 2015, the ICT Office conducted eight workshops in the following locations: Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte; Manila; Iriga City, Camarines Sur; Odiongan, Romblon; Tacloban, Leyte; Pulilan, Bulacan; Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; and Tagbilaran, Bohol.
?Filipinos are known worldwide for their technical skills and communications skills as well as customer service orientation,? said DOST secretary Mario G. Montejo. ?This is why the Philippines is regarded as the contact center capital of the world. Online jobs are an extension of this, but for smaller businesses instead of big ones. ?
One key component of online work is Internet connectivity, which can be an issue in rural areas. ?The Juan Konek Free Wi-Fi Internet access in public places project hopes to address this. With faster Internet connectivity available in all municipalities, this can significantly increase the number of Filipinos earning a living through the Internet,? Montejo added.
Juan Konek is part of the ICT Office?s Digital Empowerment Program which aims to provide Internet access to the country?s municipalities, through 7,118 public sites.