February 27, 2024

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Empowering and Upskilling Online Professionals in the Philippines

According to a new study by a global online payment platform, the young and digitally savvy Philippine freelance market accounts for approximately 2% of the population and is expected to grow further. According to the report, the freelancer market in the Philippines is expanding and poised for further expansion, with more Filipinos seeking freelance work from abroad.

To address this, Filipino freelancers or online professionals need to be provided with continuous education and training, according to a chairperson from an online community focused on online professional service.

The chairperson of the online professional’s service company recently provided recommendations on how the government can assist online professionals in the country as a discussant in a webinar on crowd work jointly organised by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the International Development Research Centre.

For instance, she emphasised the importance of using the term “online professionals” rather than “freelancers” when referring to people who work in the online industry for better representation. The chairperson also stated that online professionals must learn new skills and gain confidence to succeed in the face of increasing competition in the online industry. She urged online professionals, both beginners and skilled ones, to seek advice from different industry representatives, to be better informed about the online industry.

More importantly, the chairperson stated that there is a need to support the government’s continuous education and upskilling programmes and initiatives for online professionals, such as the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) Philippine job portal.

“The online industry is evolving every two to four weeks as new technologies are being introduced in the market. Policies should be in place to protect specifically those who are starting or in the entry-level to benefit from digital platforms. However, policy creation should go hand-in-hand with education awareness [to inform the public] that there are government agencies and programmes that are giving free training so that people have a chance to be part of the online industry,” the chairperson explained.

OpenGov Asia reported that The Philippines, the second-most populous country in Southeast Asia, is a large and rapidly developing e-commerce market. The Philippines has a digital population of more than 67 million people, with a low income but high growth, attracting both local and regional companies competing against a dominant player.

Despite this, e-commerce accounts for less than 1% of total sales in the Philippines, the market is expected to grow at a high double-digit rate in the coming years. Though not as mature as Malaysian e-commerce or as thriving as Indonesian e-commerce, the Philippines’ population of more than 100 million people makes the country very appealing.

Concerning infrastructure, the organisation’s chairperson urged the government to “create an online system for registration and payment of dues” to encourage online professionals to “register their businesses.” She also emphasised the importance of providing the country with a faster and more stable internet connection. Along this line, she also recommended creating a law that will provide online professionals with a welfare administration, similar to a welfare administration for workers, which aims to promote the rights and protect the welfare of OFWs.

Ultimately, the chairperson advocated for increased funding for online-based cooperatives that aim to assist online professionals in developing their careers in the online industry. “Our mission is to help fellow Filipino online professionals achieve a more sustainable livelihood in the online workspace by providing support through continuous education, marketing, mentoring, and leadership equipping,” she explained.

In this new economy, knowledge and information have replaced labour as the primary factors of production. In this context, innovation and technological progress have a significant impact on long-term economic development. In this information age, electronic commerce is crucial for enterprise competitivity, ensuring access to new market segments, increasing the speed of developing business, increasing the flexibility of commercial policies, decreasing provisioning, sale, and advertising costs and simplifying procedures.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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