The Philippine government, represented by the Department of Finance, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to grant $650,000 in technical assistance to the Philippines' Information Technology-Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) sector. ADB Country Director Neeraj K. Jain and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima signed the MOU during the 45th Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors.
The MOU will help provide venues and access to online training for teachers and learning modules and study guides for college students interested in subjects related to jobs in the IT-BPO sector.
The ADB-Philippine government MOU stated that 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 also stated that the planned ICT-enabled "knowledge hubs" will be placed in selected universities and colleges in the Philippines - at least one hub each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The learning institutions involved are expected to align their curricula or course offerings according to the needs of the IT-BPO sector.
The $650,000 technical fund will come from South Korea's e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund by the ADB - providing $500,000. The Philippine government will be providing "in kind contributions" worth $150,000.
According to the MOU, at least 3,000 college students and 900 faculty members are expected to benefit from the technical assistance program. The training and education are aimed at helping meet the IT-BPO industry's growing demand for an educated and skilled workforce. Last year's figures from the Board of Investments show that the local IT-BPO sector's total revenues posted 24% growth or about $11 billion, with about 638,000 employees working full-time.