Quisumbing Torres' Corporate & Commercial Partner and Philippines-Australia Business Council (PABC) Chairman Dennis Quintero led the recently concluded general membership meeting of PABC on 30 January 2018.

Attended by industry players, the resource speaker for the meeting was Monchito Ibrahim, Undersecretary for Information and Communications Technology Industry and Countryside Development and Management Services of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, where he discussed the Flagship Programs of DICT for 2018.

"DICT has a clear understanding of what it needs to do to grow the IT Services / BPO sector. It also knows that time is of the essence to make the Philippines competitive in the sector that increasingly requires a high level of skill and creativity. It requires moving away from services where BPO service providers do only repetitive tasks," explained PABC Chairman, Dennis Quintero.

Aside from developing initiatives that will encourage more players in the telecoms industry, the department also directs its focus on Philippine education. The DICT aims to promote the outcome-based education system, where companies discuss with schools the skill sets that they require, thus suggesting a more tailored curriculum for the students where their learning in schools will be more useful in their chosen field of work.

DICT Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim acknowledged that the government needs to promote industries such as manufacturing and mining that will take in and provide work opportunities to graduates of Science & Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses. He also commented that more students need to be encouraged to take STEM courses.

He also cited Australia's substantial contribution to the Philippine IT / BPO business' growth as well as DICT's latest efforts to develop the telecom infrastructure in order to increase internet capacity and encourage new players in the sector.

The group had a consensus that promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics subjects among high school students meshed with liberal arts to develop both technical and creative skills of students are needed for the next stage in the information and communications technology/business process outsourcing sector, which will require mid to high level skills to be globally competitive.

Undersecretary Ibrahim was named as one of the Ten ICT Industry Movers and Shakers for the period 2002-2012 and a recipient of the Boards’ Choice as Government Champion, both awarded by the Contact Center Association of the Philippines (CCAP). In 2016, he was given the Sapphire Flare for Brilliance Award by the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP).

QT and PABC

Quisumbing Torres continues to support PABC in its efforts to promote trade, economic and technical cooperation between the Philippines and Australia. QT's Corporate & Commercial Partner and head of the Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Industry Group Dennis Quintero serves as the council's Chair for three years starting in 2017. Prior to his election as Chair, he held the position of Vice-Chairman and trustee of the Council.

For this year, the council aims to work with its counterpart Australia-Philippines Business Council (APBC) to create greater synergy between the Philippine and Australian business sectors in the areas of information and communications technology, mining, and renewable energy by providing opportunities for both sides to pursue investments and joint ventures.

PABC was jointly organized in July 1975 by the Philippine Chamber of Industries and the Council of Economic Development, its counterpart council in Australia, the APBC was also established on the same year.

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