July 21, 2022

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DICT says Cities project generated 375,000 jobs

THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said its Digital Cities 2025 Program with private partners, the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines and Leechiu Property Consultants, has so far created 375,000 jobs nationwide.

“At present, the Digital Cities 2025 has created 375,000 jobs from the IT-BPM (Information Technology and Business Process Management) industry,” Information and Communications Secretary Ivan John E. Uy said during the “Liveable Cities Labs: Building Digital Cities” virtual forum on Wednesday.

“The total economic impact outside of Metro Manila is about P5.6 billion every month,” he added.

The program has been pushing for inclusive growth and development since 2009, he noted.

The Philippines dropped out of the top 10 countries that are considered attractive destinations for technology, digital and innovation, and business process management, after a decline in the workforce during the pandemic, according to the Tholons Global Innovation Index 2021.

From fifth place in 2020, the Philippines ranked 18th among the Top 50 Digital Nations last year.

For the sake of the IT-BPM industry, the digital workforce must be expanded, Mr. Uy said.

“There is a pending bill in Congress on the digital workforce. I think our legislators (now see) the importance of building up a digital workforce in the country,” he noted.

“There are a lot of gaps in the (IT-BPM) sector, especially because most of the talent produced by our universities does not seem to match the industry’s needs.”

There were 31 cities in the Digital Cities Program last year, according to the DICT. These include Balanga, Batangas, General Santos, Iligan, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Taytay (Rizal), Tuguegarao, and Zamboanga.

They were identified based on four major metrics — talent, business environment, infrastructure and cost of doing business.

“These digital cities will, we hope motivate existing players to expand beyond the National Capital Region and encourage new ones (IT-BPM companies) to set up shop in the Philippines,” the DICT said in its report. — Arjay L. Balinbin