IT-BPO 'knowledge hubs' to be established in colleges

Posted at 05/02/12 12:13 PM

Philippines, ADB team up to boost country's IT-BPO sector

MANILA, Philippines - Information technology-business process outsourcing (IT-BPO) courses will soon be integrated in the curriculum of selected universities and colleges around the country.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government, through the Department of Finance, on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding to provide $650,000 in technical assistance to the IT-BPO industry. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima signed the MOU with ADB Country Director Neeraj K. Jain, at the sidelines of the 45th ADB Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.

Under the MOU, "knowledge hubs" will be established in selected colleges and universities to align their curricula with the needs of the IT-BPO sector.

At least 3 hubs, one each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, will be established. Each hub will be ICT-enabled and provide "online training" to teachers and "digitized learning modules and study guides" for students.

"Improving national competitiveness, moving into knowledge-based services, and achieving and maintaining rapid economic progress, would require an educated workforce equipped with skills that meet the demands of high-growth industries," the MOU stated.

The MoU said at least 900 faculty members and 3,000 college-level students will benefit from the program.

The IT-BPO industry is the fastest-growing industry in the country, generating jobs and revenues.
In 2011, data from the Board of Investments showed IT-BPO revenues grew by 24% to roughly $11 billion with 638,000 full-time employees.

"The IT-BPO sector has been one of the sunshine industries in the Philippines and sustaining its performance has been the priority of this government as we believe on its potential to generate jobs and in the process, boost demand and growth in the country," said Purisima.

Of the $650,000 technical fund, $500,000 will be sourced from South Korea's e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund by the ADB, while the Philippine government will provide the remaining $150,000 "in kind contributions."