Work from home offers fallback for AI-threatened jobs

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2018 04:46 PM | Updated as of Nov 21 2018 12:31 PM

Work from home offers fallback for AI-threatened jobs 1
Coffee shop patrons in Quezon City work on their laptops. Recruitment platform says it has 10,000 job postings daily. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Work from home schemes can be a fallback for call center agents who risk losing their jobs as their industry automates certain tasks, a jobs recruitment platform said Tuesday.

Up to 10,000 jobs daily are offered on where 92,920 employers are looking for project-based workers for data entry, programming, graphic design, Excel and Photoshop, according to its Vice President for International Sebastian Siseles

Finding a project-based job is easier since employers look for a skill instead of a college degree, Siseles told ABS-CBN News.

"We are looking for 1,000 different skills and abilities and you just need to know 1 thing, 1 skill for you to land a job," he said.

Freelancers are paid $196 or P10,000 per project on the average, "a lot bigger" compared to office work, he said.

The proposed Telecommuting Act, which seeks to provide equal pay and benefits for home-based workers compared to their office-based counterparts was passed by the Senate and the House in a bicameral conference last October.

Some 43,000 low-skilled workers could lose their jobs in the next 4 years when companies turn to artificial intelligence, instead of humans, to accomplish "repetitive" tasks, the IT and Business Process Outsourcing Association of the Philippines earlier said.

The freelancing industry can accommodate these workers as the network is "still growing," Siseles said.

The Philippines, with 1 million freelancers, leads Southeast Asia and is fourth in the world in terms of project-based work, he said.

India, United States and Pakistan are ahead of the Philippines only because of bigger populations and faster internet connections, he said.

English fluency is a "huge advantage" for Filipinos seeking freelance work, like in BPOs, he said.

Freelancing thrives because it removes "unnecessary intermediaries" that drive up costs, he said.