I have always wanted to attend the Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference (PISCON), but previous locations were totally out of my reach in terms of time, effort, and budget.
So, when the opportunity to attend the said event was presented by our dear Master Blender Marvin De Leon, I readily said yes! Here’s the invite:
Come July 16, 5:30 am, the hubby and I were on our way to Clark, regardless of the incoming typhoon, Falcon. No foul weather can stop me!
Why Did I Want to Attend?
For a freelancer like me, going out of the comfort of my home has to have a valid reason, especially if it involves travelling out of town. Work hours are too precious!
I had to attend this event because:
- It has a good cause
- It has breakout sessions that piqued my interest
- I had a good excuse to go out of town
Little did I know that this event would impact my life in more ways than one. How? Read on!
What Is PISCON?
PISCON brings together Filipino talents, freelancers, Rural Impact Sourcing (RIS) graduates, major stakeholders such as major platform companies, payment portal organizations, LGUs, ICT councils, online freelancer organizations and concerned national government agencies in one event.
But more than that, the event inspires and encourages Filipinos who are seeking for ways to earn a living through online jobs, especially those who live in low-employment, high-population areas. And the beauty of it all is that through the RIS, any Filipino, regardless of the demographic he belongs – out-of-school youth, seniors, underemployed, unemployed, PWD, or student, has the chance to get sufficient training and eventually, gainful employment, without leaving the comforts of his or her own home.
PISCON 2019 was held at the Royce Hotel & Casino, Angeles City, Pampanga. It’s a lovely hotel with spacious conference rooms, clean restrooms, polite and friendly staff, AND… great-tasting food.
The two-day event was well organized, from the registration to the breakout sessions.
And the topics – PISCON had something for everyone! For those who are still entertaining the idea of working online, “The Future of Work” as presented by Mr. Kunal Malhotra, LinkedIn Regional Sales Leader, was an eye-opener.
Discussion Panel 3 was for would-be and existing freelancers and entrepreneurs. Here, founders of different Facebook groups like our very own Marvin De Leon (Freelance Blend) and Jason Dulay (Freelancing in the Philippines) talked about the impact of online freelancing jobs to the Philippine economy. Special mention to Korina Bertulfo, Founder of Filipino Home-based Moms, who rocked the house when she said that her income from being a homebased working mom allowed her to marry her husband!
But of all the discussions, it was Panel Discussion 1 that hit me and I guess, most of the audience too. Everyone was silent as RIS graduates shared their success stories. Most of us reached for our hankies as we watched the video presentations of Ms. Racquel Sarah Castro, Ms. Jacqueline Acabo, Ms. Jenevel Sanchez, Ms. Sittie Nor Jehan Macapundag, Mr. Jesus Lelis Jr., Ms. Nova Mae Llanos and Ms. Veronica Panganiban. Through the help of DICT and RIS, these people were able to land online jobs despite their disabilities and disadvantages.
All of them have beautiful stories, of their struggles, of how DICT helped change their lives, of how they are giving a portion of their time to inspire and educate fellow Pinoys on online jobs.
Truly, online jobs is an equalizer. With the right training, anyone can work, regardless of age, physical condition, religion, or location.
The Breakout Sessions
Again, PISCON had something for all attendees. There were six breakout sessions. Three were held at 8:30 am to 10:am and the other three at 10:00 am to 11:30 am.
I chose “Forming your own Rural BPOs and Freelancers’ Cooperative” which was moderated by Genesis Reonico and “Professionalizing my Career: Skills Assessments and Certification for Freelancers” moderated by Ms. Janette Toral.
Both sessions were highly informative. With the first, I got valuable tips on how to manage an agency. With the second, I was able to share my insights on the topic.
My Main Takeaway
As I watched the Commitment of Support Ceremonial Signing of DICT’s Technical Training Project with Selected LGUs and partners, I thought, “THIS is what happens when the government and private sectors unite.”
This is the future of work. This is the road towards a brighter future for all Filipinos. In this world, the terms marginalized, exclusion or discrimination will cease to exist, because every Filipino adult capable of working will have the means towards a financially independent life, enabling him or her to live with pride, dignity and self-respect.
To the DICT and RIS, may your tribe increase!
Liberty Baldovino is a Writer and Content Strategist who helps businesses grow through quality, optimized content and she’s been interviewed by Marv at the Freelance Blend Podcast Episode 107 . She blogs at The Youthful Granny.