DAVAO’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry is planning to double the current business process management (BPM) workforce in the region to 150,000 by 2028.

Xavier Eric B. Manalastas, president of the ICT-Davao, Inc. industry association, said this was the region’s commitment to the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, whose own target for the national workforce is 2.5 million in five years.

Mr. Manalastas, founder and chief executive officer of NEXT BPO Solutions, Inc., said the industry is boosting alliances with educational institutions and government agencies to prepare more people for information technology and business process management work.

“The 150,000 will not be filled or can be achieved in Davao City alone but throughout Davao Region,” he said in a media forum.

“We are currently working with different agencies in the government and we are also working closely. As mentioned, the challenge is talent, with the universities, higher education institutions and state colleges,” he said.

Discussions with schools focus on aligning courses and the curriculum to ensure that graduates can immediately be hired.

Mr. Manalastas also said ICT-Davao is working closely with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority for the creation of a Metro Davao ICT Industry Board and to tap the agency’s scholarship programs. 

“We hope to be able to train more unemployed or employed or underemployed in the Davao Region for them to get the skills they need or to upskill and to be absorbed in the industry to fill the gap,” he said.

On the employer side, he said two companies recently opened and another is expected to come in this year, adding to the more than 50 already operating in Davao.

The three new entrants are expected to employ up to 4,000.

“We are among the most resilient industries and we have experienced growth with the (re)opening of the economy,” Mr. Manalastas said. — Maya M. Padillo