Friday, May 24, 2024

DICT, NICP eye 1 million jobs in PH countryside

The National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), commemorated 15 years of collaborative efforts on November 8-9, 2023, during the 15th National ICT Summit held in Iligan City.

The summit, themed “Fostering Synergy for Sustainable Innovation by Making Academe, Government, and Industry Collaborate (MAGIC),” brought together leaders from the public, private, and academic sectors to discuss best practices and the latest developments in the digital domain.

DICT secretary Ivan John Uy reaffirmed his commitment to nurturing the Philippine countryside through various initiatives, emphasizing job creation, digital infrastructure, digital skills development, and cybersecurity.

He reflected on his support for rural initiatives since the early days of NICP, praising its founders for their vision in 2008. The summit also recognized the contributions of ICT councils from major cities like Bacolod, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, General Santos, Iligan, Iloilo, Koronadal, Legazpi, and Quezon City.

Uy described the summit as more than a networking and knowledge-sharing platform, but as a driving force for transformative change.

He stressed the importance of reflecting on progress made in digitalizing the country and the need to deepen collaboration among industry, civil society, and government.

Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, DICT undersecretary for ICT Industry Development and NICP co-founder, spoke about the growth of countryside digital development from ten to over a hundred ICT councils nationwide.

She emphasized the need for equitable growth across the country, moving beyond metro-centric development, through the MAGIC collaboration formula. 

As of now, the information technology business process management (IT-BPM) sector in the Philippines have approximately more than 1.5 million jobs, with around 500,000 of these located in regional locations.

Looking ahead to 2028, the industry has set an ambitious target to expand this workforce to around 2.5 million.

Batapa-Sigue challenged NICP to work hard for a significant goal: to increase the number of IT-BPM jobs in the countryside to 1 million by 2028.

This initiative is a strategic move to balance job distribution and stimulate economic growth across diverse regions, highlighting a strong commitment to enhancing rural employment opportunities in the burgeoning IT-BPM sector.

NICP president Dr. Mary Joy Abueg highlighted the summit’s role in reflecting the confederation’s commitment to fostering partnerships.

She expressed gratitude to the city government of Iligan and mayor Frederick Siao for their proactive role in ICT initiatives, as evidenced by hosting this year’s summit.

Siao welcomed the participants and supported the summit’s vision of addressing digital era needs through dialogue and partnership, underscoring the potential of ICT for sustainable innovation and grassroots development.

The summit introduced five tracks to enhance discussions: Self-Development of Digital Champions, Digital Cities, Emerging Technology, National Government Agencies Collaboration, and Start-up and Talent. These tracks represent a significant advancement in discussions on digital progress.

Iligan City, featured in the DICT’s Digital Cities Program under the ICT Industry Development Bureau (IIDB), aims to become a hub for the IT-BPM industry.

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