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17 Oct 2013


Voice of the Youth Radio was witness to technological history as the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) held SOFTCON.PH Conference, the first ever software conference in the country last October 10 at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati.

As one of the biggest issues facing the youth in the country is unemployment, the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Mario Montejo, claimed that the  ICT/BPO industry has the potential of generating 520,000 jobs in 2016. Education of Filipino students through use of software technology is also being developed as aid for schools and universities.

In a study conducted by the UP School of Statistics (UPSS), it is projected that only 33% of the graduating students in the country meet the demand for Basic Skills that support employability. As explained by Dr. Erniel Barrios, Dean of UPSS, our graduating students fare better at Behavioral Skills, but with only 50% of the graduating population meeting the demand. He also suggested that the academe must be integrated with industry.

The President of PSIA, Joey Gurango, encouraged that the best time for youth to pursue a career in technopreneurship is today. Aside from the rising business and technology industry of the Philippines, Gurango also advised that the perfect time for risk-taking, with regards to ventures, is during our youth. That is why, with the partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Office of the Department of Science and Technology (ICTO-DOST), PSIA launched the Spring.ph, an incubation program for software startups. The aim is to put the Philippines on the map when it comes to software products,  Gurango said 300 tech start-ups are currently in the Philippines and various programs and campaign events have been organized under the Spring.ph initiative to increase this number.

Such events include, Launchpad, a quarterly business proposal competition, where groups of aspiring candidates will compete for mentorship with some of the best coaches in the industry through business pitches. As The Sauce Newswire Director, Martin Conboy, remarked, it would be ideal to leverage the social characteristic of Filipinos by injecting the distinct Filipino experience into the softwares we create.  

Such innovative softwares were showcased in the SOFTCON.PH 2013: Exhibit, where participants of the conference were given the chance to try out startup products and services and to interact with the entreprenuers behind them. One of the applications showcased in the exhibit was Tom Taps, a software that specially caters to children with special needs. It integrates communication and scheduling tools with interactive features such as games and modules. Orchestrack is another featured startup that is designed for advertisers, agencies and broadcasters of radio, TV and online streaming content to help them monitor their performance.

Interestingly Gurango revealed that there is a huge excess of funding available for start-ups, only problem is only a very few of those are feasible and worthy enough to be given the grants. This makes it all the more important to engage the Filipinos, especially the youth in pursuing a career in the field of IT.

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