DAVAO CITY – Experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) believe that impact sourcing of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry is a big boost to employ those from the rural areas, but a former solon thinks otherwise.

During the 6th SummIT which was held in the city last October 24, ICT experts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) discussed the impact sourcing as a tool for economic development of the least-developed communities and to connect them to the global economy.

Samuel Matunog, president of the president of ICT- Davao Industry Development said that “impact sourcing could farm out jobs for the unemployed sectors especially those from rural and urban poor communities that we usually thought of them as not part of ICT community.”

Also during the said event, Monchito Ibrahim, deputy executive director on eBusiness of Department of Science and Techonology – Information and Communications Technology Office (DOST-ICTO), said that impact sourcing will be tool for job creation.

He said that “instead of the big companies investing in the regions, the work will be given to the small business present in the region.”

According to Ibrahim, Impact Sourcing could be defined into two models. First is people doing BPO jobs at home; and second is partnership between the large BPO companies and small-local BPO companies for them to re-outsource some of the projects that the larger companies are doing.

But former Bayan Muna representative Joel Virador said, the BPO industry, whether decentralizing it to other areas classified as impact sourcing, “does not contribute to the solution of the long standing unemployment in the country.”

Virador, who is now vice-chairman for federation affairs of labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno, said that “genuine development will emerge by satisfying first the domestic needs of the country.”

“Genuine land reform and national industrialization are key to job generation and development,” he said.

Virador said that land reform will “enhance productivity in the rural areas” that will create jobs for the workers.

“Adding value to our mineral resources will also mean industrialization that will also provide jobs for the unemployed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Matunog said that they are already looking forward in generating 600 trained workers from the unemployed sectors in the city.

Matunog also said that they are also planning for internet cafés in the city (which counted up to 700) to be converted as service delivery centers and as a work space for the BPO workers.

He added that this will help maximize the operators [of internet cafés] in generating jobs for the communities near them.

Virador, however, said that BPOs do not provide a sustainable employment to the Filipino people.

“You will notice the fast turn-over of workers. Workers cannot bear the hardship in the BPO centers,” he said.

Virador added that “the different time zone with that of their foreign clients matter here. These BPO jobs are supposed to be done by the workers of the countries where their clients are based.”

By the end of 2014, the BPO industry will be expecting a USD 18B. But according to Virador, “the revenue expected by the so-called BPO experts will just be temporary and will not last long” adding that the industry depends on foreign clients. (davaotoday.com)

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