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According to studies made by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), creative industries in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines, could be the next economic growth area. These creative industries could be capitalized even more to expand into developing the creative process outsourcing industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) defines creative industries as those that deal with not only creativity, but also culture, economics, and technology—generally, activities involving creativity and intellectual property as the main assets. Meanwhile, creative process outsourcing is a form of BPO that focuses on services like graphic design, web development, animation, digital marketing, and game development.

As reported by the Philippine News Agency, OBG Asia Regional Editor Patrick Cooke noted that the youth culture in the Philippines is driven by heavy consumption of music, art, film, fashion, and online content. With this, he added, "The innate Filipino creativity and all-pervasive musicality is impossible for first-time visitors to the country to ignore; the challenge lies in harnessing this for wider economic benefits."

"However, if the country is to truly realize its vast potential as a global hub for creativity, a more cohesive master plan may be needed to establish a viable ecosystem that ensures Filipinos have access to the financing and tools required to develop their considerable talents, as well as an effective means to access local and international markets," Cooke continued.

Aside from local creative and advertising agencies, BPO firms in the Philippines have been offering creative process outsourcing. Creative process outsourcing services in the Philippines cater to businesses from different parts of the world looking to outsource their brand development, marketing collateral, content creation, and website design and development, and to agencies looking to expand their creative team to meet deadlines during peak seasons.

MicroSourcing's creative services unit, MicroCreatives, is composed of graphic designers, web developers, animators, and copywriters that can take on different types of creative projects to meet your requirements. Whether for on-demand tasks, project-based arrangement, or a dedicated staff for a required duration, MicroCreatives offers various models with a highly customizable workflow that can adapt to any business’ existing processes.

The Philippines is in the second spot of the Top 50 Digital Nations of the 2018 Services Globalization Index by Tholons, a global strategic advisory firm. As reported by ABS-CBN News, India remains in the top spot, while Brazil is in the third place. In 2017, the Philippines was in third place.

The BPO industry in the Philippines and OFW remittances are the top 2 foreign exchange earners for the country. The BPO industry in the Philippines employs more than 1.15 million Filipinos.

The remaining countries in the Top 10 include the United States, Mexico, Canada, Russia, Vietnam, Colombia, and South Africa.

Meanwhile, another list in the index report, the Top 100 Super Cities list, includes six cities from the Philippines.

Manila is in the second place next to Bengaluru, India, and in the third place is Mumbai, India. In 2017, Manila was in the fourth place.

The other five cities are Cebu (11th place from 12th last year), Davao (75th from 85th last year), Santa Rosa, Laguna (87th from 100th last year), Bacolod City (89th from 97th last year), and Iloilo (a newcomer in the 92nd place).

Tholons' Services Globalization Index evaluates countries and cities and ranks them based on availability and quality of talent, the level of industry-related activity and organizational support, cost of doing business, infrastructure, innovation, and quality of life, among other criteria.

The results indicate that the Philippines, with the help of its fast-growing BPO industry, continues to thrive in becoming one of the biggest leaders in services globalization. And with BPO/techno hubs continuously expanding into the provinces outside of the metro, we can only expect more opportunities and growth areas for digital innovation and transformation to sprout in the coming years.


Taba para sa Bata: Weight Loss Challenge

by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario

Friday, November 16, 2018 | Social Responsibility | Comments (0)

Weight Loss Challenge Talk

This initiative aims to feed children while our employees lose weight, and every pound lost is equivalent to a donation match from the CSR budget. The donation will be used to buy food for the children of Childhope Asia in Manila and Rise Above Foundation in Cebu in March 2019.

71 employees are participating in this endeavor and last September 22, to kick-start the program, MicroMissions, in partnership with Chris Everingham – an Elite Performance Manager, Dietitian, and former International Athlete – facilitated an inspirational and motivational talk on not just losing weight but giving oneself the drive to achieve possibilities.

Fitness First, another partner, is sponsoring all Saturdays for gym use for all registered participants starting September 29, 2018, until February 23, 2019. The challenge is for all participants to lose weight to increase the amount of donation, and every weight gained will result in a deduction from the total amount of donation.


MicroSourcing Opens Fourth Office in Eastwood City

by: Maricel Salao

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 | Company News | Comments (0)

MicroSourcing Launches New Office in Eastwood City

To accommodate the number of expansions from the existing clients and new accounts, MicroSourcing recently launched a new site on the 2nd floor of 1880 Building in Eastwood City. The site was officially launched last October 15, attended by the Mancom members, clients, and management staff. The site has over 600 seats, enough to accommodate current and future growth.

Apart from accommodating client growth, MicroSourcing also considered staff feedback when designing the new site. We have created a bigger pantry area that can serve as a venue for site events. The lounge area at the back of the pantry can serve as an avenue for informal meetings, birthday celebrations, and other team engagement activities. We have also added two training rooms with collapsible wall to accommodate bigger training classes and can also be used for engagement activities.

Since we promote a healthy lifestyle and work-life integration, we have also added a shower room for those who would like to bike to work and do some exercise before they start their shift. A nap room is also available for the staff to take a short nap during their breaks. A PlayStation 4 and a videoke machine are also available for employees to use during breaks or company activities.

Overall, the new site is designed to be a place that inspires our employees to work hard and enjoy the company of their colleagues.

In the age of automation, many companies in the IT-BPO industry are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to cut operational costs. The emergence of AI and the increase in the kinds of work processes that automated systems can handle is a clear threat to the Philippine BPO industry, which is currently largely reliant on relatively simple tasks. However, the Philippine government has found a solution to help BPO workers keep their jobs while also taking advantage of technological innovations.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with the help of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and tech company AI Pros, plan to train BPO workers on the use of Augmented Intelligence (AI2). AI2 refers to the use of IT in enhancing human intelligence.

"Instead of AI replacing jobs in the IT-BPO industry, which is estimated to affect half of the 1.3 million jobs in the sector, the workers will be trained to make use of AI2-enabled systems," said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez. According to Lopez, this training is a way to take advantage of the AI system as a solution to the so-called threats that it may bring.

"We are the first country to launch this kind of initiative. Instead of looking at AI as a threat to the BPO industry, the Duterte administration is using AI2 to provide more opportunities for inclusive growth," Lopez added.

DTI anticipates AI2 to improve the competencies of BPO workers and targets 482,000 unskilled workers to learn to do low-skilled work, 525,000 low-skilled workers to learn mid-skilled work, and 309,000 mid-skilled workers to become eligible for high-level jobs.

To elaborate, AI2-enabled systems still need humans to operate them. Data-driven technologies can process data and suggest predictions and patterns faster, but these are based off of algorithms that were programmed into the system by a person. As the term "augmented intelligence" suggests, these systems are not meant to replace humans, but rather to augment their intelligence so they can be more efficient in their jobs.

In the BPO industry, data processing and analytics will be one of the fields that will be affected by the AI threat. There are technologies now that can perform in-depth data mining, eliminating the need for data entry professionals. To help them stay in the workforce, the AI2 training program will upskill data entry professionals to handle more complex tasks such as creating strategies and drawing conclusions from the trends and patterns identified by the systems from the data.

Customer service agents can also benefit from the AI2 training program. Augmented intelligence platforms have the ability to provide insights into customer behavior and can predict their needs. The workers will be trained to understand these insights and determine the appropriate actions to deliver according to customer expectations.

In digital marketing, we've been encountering AI2-enabled algorithms every day. Researchers and marketers make use of internet algorithms to study each individual's online activity. The information will then be used to improve products and services and come up with creative advertisements that will reach the right audience at the right time.

Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio said that the training program is part of the "Philippine AI Workforce" brand campaign, which aims to open more job opportunities to Filipinos as well as to extend the development outside the metro.

"We will train and enable our workforce, regardless of their background and experience, to use AI2 to perform smarter and complete difficult tasks, and help them move up the value chain," Lopez said. He also confirmed that this initiative is also open to non-BPO workers, so every Filipino can learn to work with AI and advance in their respective fields.



Back-to-School Project: HOPE Mini Library Turnover Ceremony

by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario

Wednesday, July 25, 2018 | Social Responsibility | Comments (0)

Just in time for the start of the school year, MicroSourcing Philippines, through MicroMissions, partnered with Generation HOPE in providing a mini library for the Grade 1 students of the Imus Pilot Elementary School in Cavite. Over 100 children's books were donated to extend learning and help with developing the reading abilities of the kids. Mats, pillows, and educational children’s toys were also provided.

The school's principal advocates literacy through reading and the mini library is one step towards improving the Grade 1 students' reading and comprehension skills.


Seedling Nurturing at Buhay Punlaan

by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 | Social Responsibility | Comments (0)

Yearly, MicroMissions organizes a tree-planting activity and this time around, we focused on understanding how to nurture seedlings before planting them.

Buhay Punlaan is a nursery of native trees at the Caliraya-Lumot Watershed in Lumban, Laguna. It covers a 2-hectare area and serves as a learning laboratory and direct response to the shortage of native tree species in the country today.

41 volunteers went to Lumban and collected and planted 300 wildlings. Kuya Ken and Kuya Kiko taught us the different stages of preparing the seedlings before planting. This activity was a holistic approach to understand how one wildling should be taken care of.

After going through the different stages of nurturing, MicroMissions went to the Japanese Garden where Kuya Ken showed us how to spot and collect a wildling.

This mission is in line with Haribon Foundation’s Rainforest Organizations and Advocates (ROAD) to 2020 – an environmental conservation movement that is committed to restoring Philippine rainforests using native tree species to sustain the provision of ecological goods and services through an informed and engaged public.

Another sustainable mission accomplished!

On April 9, 2018, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its latest World Economic Outlook. IMF's report cited the Philippine economy's constant resilience to external shocks. The organization expects the country to become the fastest growing economy among members of the ASEAN and the second fastest in the world in two years. IMF projects a strong 6.7% GDP growth for the Philippines for 2018 and 6.8% for 2019.

"As you may know, these growth forecasts are among the highest in the Asia-Pacific region," said YongZheng Yang, IMF resident representative for the Philippines.

Yang also added that "the Philippine economy will continue to grow strongly, driven by solid domestic demand and public investment."

Furthermore, the latest World Economic Outlook projected a 5.3% growth for 2018 and 5.4% for 2019 for the ASEAN-5 (Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia) and a global growth of 3.9% for both 2018 and 2019. Yang said that these strong growth forecasts would fuel the growth of the Philippine economy's export sector, remittances, and the BPO sector.

"Strong domestic reform momentum, including in the area of taxation and capital market development, bodes well for private sector investment, including foreign direct investments," Yang added.



CSR at MicroSourcing

by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario

Thursday, June 7, 2018 | Social Responsibility | Comments (0)

The Careers Program is about linking out-of-school youth to sustainable higher paying jobs, providing them training and job opportunities so they can pave their own way out of poverty. We took talent that nobody in the sector looked at before, trained them, and proved that they can deliver.
- Geoanna Corneby, CSR Officer, 2012-2015

See how MicroSourcing changes the lives of disadvantaged youths, believing that they can deliver given the right resources and opportunities.


Clean Water for the Water-People: Badjao Community

by: Lesley Anne U. Ordinario

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 | Social Responsibility | Comments (0)

March 22 is regarded as World Water Day. To honor an indigenous tribe that has lived in houses on stilts in the sea, MicroMissions partnered with Waves for Water and Payatas Orione Foundation (PAOFI) to provide clean, safe, and potable water to the Badjao Community in Quezon. As immigrants from Mindanao, they settled in Lucban, Quezon and PAOFI took care of the community and taught them how to weave rags and beaded bracelets for livelihood and provided them education.

Waves for Water is an organization that offers access to clean water to improve personal and civic well-being, increases overall health, reduces poverty and increases opportunities for education and employment, and contributes to the advancement of individuals and their communities. With the water filters that they provide to communities, it is one step in making sure individuals get to drink bacteria-free water especially in areas where accessibility is a challenge.

Last March 17, MicroMissions volunteers attended the Learn and Share Session on the filters that will be donated to the community. Conducted by Waves for Water, Raymond Sikawat taught the volunteers the assembly of the filter system. On March 24, the trip to Quezon pushed through for volunteers to personally share with the Badjaos the knowledge we gained in using the filters. 15 water filters were given to the Badjao community as they get water from a well, a deep-well pump, and the water from the sea, which has become their lavatory.

Each filter will be used by 3-4 families that will be strictly monitored by PAOFI. The filters donated can be used for 5-10 years, a great deal of sustainability in providing potable water to lessen water-borne diseases, especially to children - to improve their development - and for the community to increase their productivity.

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