Senator Edgardo J. Angara told the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to become an active promoter of job generation now that the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) is under its authority.
"The DOST should focus on spurring growth in the ICT sector. As we know, ICT is a powerful, crosscutting technology that impacts on health, agriculture, education and business," said the veteran lawmaker during yesterday's budget hearing.
Angara, Chair of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), suggested that the DOST provide more support to the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) industry by setting aside some funds to help certain universities retrain their teachers and students on language proficiency.
In 2010, the IT-BPO sector earned US$9 billion in revenues and employed roughly 525,000 workers. The industry projects 1.3 million jobs and US$25 billion revenues by 2016.
According to the Business Process Association of the Philippines (BPA/P), only eight out of every 100 applicants are actually hired by BPO companies.
"IT-BPO is clearly the fastest growing sector in our country today. The labor constraints the industry is now facing should be solved by enhancing the employability of our workforce. The DOST can help create language labs throughout our schools, where students--and teachers--can actively exercise their English-speaking skills using ICT," said Angara, also the Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology.
Secretary Mario Montejo reported that the DOST has been working on providing support to the IT-BPO industry through a home-based software focused on improving diction and accent.
Angara said, "We laud the efforts of the DOST and are hopeful that their work will be synergized with the IT-BPO sector's drive to generate more employment for the country."