The strong expansion of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, tourism, and other service industries in the country, could result in more employment opportunities in the Philippines.
Consequently deployment of Filipinos for jobs abroad may be reduced, according to a study published by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In an ADB Economics Working Paper titled “Leveraging Services Sector Growth in the Philippines,” author Raja Mikael Mitra said that the improved performance of the Philippine economy, as illustrated by the rapid growth of the BPO industry, has moderated the trend to seek employment overseas.
Mitra added that changes in the external job market, due to the economic slowdown as well as migration and work permit restrictions, have also made it more difficult for certain categories of workers to emigrate.
These are some of the reasons a significant number of business management, information technology (IT), engineering, and healthcare graduates are now seeking employment in the IT-BPO industry in the Philippines, the report said.
“The continued rapid growth in IT-BPO, tourism, and other service industries both in terms of exports and of services directed at local needs will result in more job opportunities in the country and will reduce the incentive to go overseas,” the ADB paper said.
“Moreover, it could trigger an increase in the number of Filipinos opting to return to work or to invest in their native count(r)y. Such a development could prove to be very beneficial for the modern service sector,” it added.
The study said that more than 10 percent of all Filipinos work overseas, as permanent, temporary, or irregular migrants. It added that most overseas Filipinos work in services.
According to the report, Filipinos who work overseas have a wide variety of occupations, such as medical doctors, nurses, physical therapists, accountants, engineers, architects, seafarers, caregivers, physiotherapists, IT professionals and other technicians, teachers, journalists, artists, travel, restaurant, and hotel employees, and domestic helpers.
The paper said that the number of Filipinos working overseas has not only grown but has also changed structurally.
“While significant numbers work in low-end service jobs such as domestic helpers and general laborers, there has been a rapid expansion in the number with higher education and professional skills. In fact, official data on Filipinos who emigrated in 2011 show that 40 percent had college or post-graduate educations,” the report said.
“In the US, the Philippines ranks first in supplying nurses and second in medical doctors after India. Also, many Filipinos work in engineering, teaching, research, business management, and liberal arts in North America, Europe, and Asia,” it added.
However, the ADB paper said that redirecting past trends in migrating talent will require huge improvements in the Philippine economy, so that it can offer more jobs and higher salaries.
“Furthermore, the education system has to be reoriented so that it produces what is needed in the country rather than what is in demand overseas,” the study said.
“Also, the government and the private sector need to make greater efforts to retain useful talent and to entice those working overseas to invest and work at home as that could improve prospects for developing the IT-BPO industry, tourism, and other services,” it added.
LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE:http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/business/bpos-can-cut-brain-drain