MANILA - The number of freelancers in the Philippines will continue to grow despite internet connectivity issues in the country, the CEO of Freelancer.com said Wednesday.
The country is seeing "phenomenal" growth in freelancers said Freelancer.com founder and CEO Matt Barrie, adding that they currently have 900,000 Filipino users as demand for project-based work grows.
Barrie said that the country is currently ranked third in the world now next to US and India in terms of number of freelancers, and although only 44 million of the 104-million Filipino population use the internet, this number is growing at a "tremendous pace."
"We're well aware of the issue, but I think at the time, things are getting better and better, and I look forward to a future where all around the world you have seamless internet, you can jump online and access," he told ANC's Market Edge.
"It won't be long before we see the current connectivity we see in the US or Australia, where you have 80 to 90 percent of the population online," he said.
Barrie is also optimistic more Filipinos using the internet will use Freelancer.com.
"We have 44 million in the Philippines and only 1 million of them in our website, so we'd like to have a lot more. I'm sure we can add a zero to that if we execute well," he said.
Filipinos, he said, are a "powerhouse" in terms of online services, with the most in-demand skill set right now being 'back office work' like data entry, spreadsheets and copywriting. But Barrie added that they get orders for all kinds of projects including creative work.
The company currently has an office in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, housing office support personnel and almost 200 engineers.
"We hire them by the metric ton, engineers. We want very, very smart people to come to us. They drive the future of the business," he said.