Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero is urging Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies to consider expanding their operations in Mindanao to open more job opportunities in the region.
Citing a report by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Escudero noted that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) registered the lowest labor force participation rate (LFPR) at 55.6%. This means that at least one in two people are unemployed in the area.
The Zamboanga Peninsula and Davao regions are not far behind with 60% and 59.5% LFPR, respectively.
The politician said “BPOs have shown that they are nearly crisis-proof, which means they are the best sources of employment. Perhaps we can give them incentives to bring their businesses to Mindanao and provide more jobs there.”
He added that the local government units can work with BPO companies for job matching and skills development to spread out employment opportunities across the regions.
According to data from the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the BPO industry employs over 1.3 million Filipinos. The majority of this is concentrated in Luzon while only 27% or about 350,000 are based in the provinces.
Escudero is the only governor who is seeking a senatorial seat in the upcoming national elections in the Philippines.