During the Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference or PISCON, held by the Department of Information and Technology (DICT) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, I learned that there is a new meaning for the acronym OFW. It can also mean Online Filipino Workers. There is a growing number of online workers and freelancers who are doing jobs that are outsourced to them.
If you count those who are on online platforms like those present during PISCON 2017 (Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, 51 Talk, OnlineJobs.ph), there are around 1.4 Million Filipinos on these platforms in total. This number has been continuously growing. With the growing number of people who are entering this type of profession/career, there are growing issues also that this demographic asks to be addressed.
Since what they do is quite different from being employees (some of them are employed by a foreign client), and not quite in the realm of turning it into a business (excludes those who have created online agencies, teams that have turned into corporations, etc.), they have their own set of concerns and issues that they need addressed. Some of the issues that I have heard from freelancers who attend Manila Workshops event are how to register their business, how to get a business permit, what taxes to pay, how to get health benefits, etc.
With this, the launch of Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP during the PISCON 2017 was of perfect timing. DCAP is an association established to promote the growth of the Online Outsourcing Industry and advocate for the welfare of online workers in the Philippines and its members.
I was fortunate enough to interview Genesis Reonico, the President of Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP.
DCAP envisions a thriving and united Online Outsourcing Industry, helping reduce the unemployment rate in the country and provide work opportunities to Filipinos especially to those who are differently-abled and those who live in the countryside where employment opportunities are limited.
DCAP envisions itself to be the voice of the Filipino Online Freelancers in the country, that will speak in behalf of their needs and concerns, lobbying and assisting in drafting policies that can positively impact the online outsourcing industry, and collaborate with the Government in its initiatives that will further grow and support the industry.
DCAP’s core mission is to educate, equip, and enable as many Filipinos as possible in finding and landing a job online so that unemployment will not be a problem and they do not need to leave their hometown just to find rewarding work and career elsewhere. DCAP will also support & empower online workers who wish to grow and level up their career or establish their own HomeGrown BPO company that will provide employment in their areas.
In addition, DCAP will do its best to protect the industry from individuals, companies and institutions who are taking advantage of the industry for their own personal gain and not for the best interest of the industry by calling them out and issuing guidelines and notices to the public.
These can be achieved through united efforts and support from key stakeholders, mainly the online workers, online outsourcing agencies, training providers, online job marketplaces and companies who provides support services to the industry, who are DCAP’s member themselves.
The founding members of DCAP are the following:
Genesis Reonico (President)
Maritess “Allie” Pasag (Chairman)
Leif Brian Margallo (VP for Visayas)
Kim Romarez (VP for Mindanao)
Crizelda Joy Cajoles (VP for Luzon)
Ronald “Piper” Ramboanga
Glenn Mark Dizon
I am happy that there is this kind of association for freelancers and for those who have digital careers. If you have questions for the Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP, please leave it at the comments section below. I will gladly ask Genesis and the other founding members to reply.