By Ike Suarez
Of the 31 million Filipinos that make up the country’s labor force, only 60,000 of them are computer professionals — with about 4,000 even employed as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
This is according to a study titled ?Human Resources in Science and Technology in the Philippines,? conducted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
The report, whose results were recently released, was done by the DOST?s Science Education Institute (SEI) and based on the census surveys carried out by the National Statistics Office (NSO) of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The data were taken from the census surveys the NSO had done in 1990, 2000, and 2010. The NSO hold the surveys every 10 years.
Included in the DOST study were data on the country?s physicists, chemists and related professionals, mathematicians, statisticians and related professionals, health professionals and nursing, and midwifery professionals.
In the study?s foreword, SEI director Josett T. Biyo said the study had been done to serve as basis for policy decisions. She said the data are crucial to understanding the demand and supply of personnel in science and technology.
The study defined computer professionals as Filipinos who earn their living as computer systems designers and analysts, computer programmers and computing professionals not elsewhere classified.
The study showed that as of 2010, 56.44 % of these professionals were males while 43.56 % were females.
The National Capital Region (NCR) had the most computer professionals at 27,095. Region IV-A (Calabarzon) came in second with 10,184 computer professionals, while Region III (Central Luzon) came in third with 4,963 computer professionals.
The ARMM (Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao) had 150 computer professionals, the least among the country?s regions.
The data on ARMM computer professionals dovetailed with the fact that it also had the least number of science and technology professionals in the country.
Mathematicians, statisticians, and related professionals numbered 645 in 2010. On the other hand, physicists, chemists and related professionals numbered 2,780 during this survey period.
The study noted that the 2010 census showed that around 8 million laborers and unskilled workers made up the Filipino workforce whose entire number totaled 31 million.
Coming in second were farmers, forestry workers, and fishermen who numbered around seven million.
?Only around 1.8 million Filipinos were professionals,? said the study. This included professionals who were not into science and technology.
The study said the results could also help guide the country?s policymakers on legislation needed to improve and maintain human capital in S&T. Such capital is necessary to knowledge creation and technological innovation, it stated.