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Philippine government support for public education is only comprehensive on the primary and secondary levels. Tertiary public education is only available in a number of local government units which has the financial capacity to support it. There is also a need to address the quality of education in all levels.

The secondary level (high school) of education in the Philippines produces an estimated 2 million graduates yearly in the past couple of years. Of this figure, less than 25% gets to complete a college degree and less than 20% gets to complete a technical-vocational course. The main reason for producing a low number of students who gets to finish a college degree or a technical-vocational course is money. A considerable amount of high school graduates cannot afford to pay for the next level of education which will equip them with the skills to have gainful employment.

Of those who finish a college degree, an estimated 25% takes up additional training to become employed. Some of these training's are not related to the degree that was completed by the individual. This shows that specialized skill development is an essential tool for employment.

The main gap in the demand and supply of qualified personnel in the BPO industry is primarily due to the lack of adequate training facilities as well as the high cost of education, particularly I.T. education. Many players in the BPO industry say that the 4 year of college education in the Philippines is not sufficient to qualify someone to take up a call center job particularly servicing U.S. customers. The other side of the problem is the cost of education, which prevents many families from further spending meager incomes on continuing education.


The Philippines is home to more than 63 million who are considered employable (15 years old and over) as of July, 2012.  To date, only an estimated 58% of this number is considered as full time workers or those who are working for at least 40 hours weekly.  An estimated 42% is considered part time workers.  The unemployment rate went up from 7% (July, 2012) to 7.3% (July, 2013).  The number of Filipinos who are in need of employment is still at an alarming rate.

Another reason that can be attributed to the low employment rate is poor technical education and skills development. Thousands of Filipinos are currently employed in fields of which they did not study or train for.

Although the Philippines has a current surplus in manpower supply, one of the main problems facing the BPO industry is the lack of qualified personnel. On the demand side, the local BPO industry is faced with huge requirements from clients in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world. However, this opportunity is not being translated into employment for the local college graduates due to the lack of adequate skills training. For instance, in the call center business, the average acceptance rate from a pool of job applicants is between 5% - 10% based on the experience of leading call center operators. If this trend continues, the cost of manpower will increase with the shortage in manpower. At a certain level, the cost of manpower will make it uncompetitive to set up a call center in the Philippines.


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