Photo from the Mar Roxas Facebook page
CEBU, Philippines – Positioning himself as the candidate who will address the concerns of the burgeoning business process outsourcing industry, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II met with BPO employees to hear them out on Wednesday, August 12.
Over breakfast at the Cebu IT Park, the hub of the BPO industry in Cebu, managers and newbies told Roxas these concerns:
During the hour-long meet, Roxas unveiled plans of organizing a “caravan” of government offices so BPO workers can apply for work-related requirements while not missing their shifts.
A “dry run” of the “one-stop shop” – which will bring representatives from the National Bureau of Investigation, PhilHealth, and the Social Security System (SSS) – will be rolled out in Cebu City in the coming weeks.
Here’s what Roxas had to say about the issues raised by BPO employees, based on a chance interview with reporters after their meeting:
One BPO manager told Roxas that the night before their meet, 11 of his employees fell victim to criminals on their way home from work.
Roxas noted that security in IT parks or business hubs themselves are fine, but it’s the routes to and from the office that are problematic.
Roxas said many BPO workers are unable to process government papers because of the nature of their work – their work days end just as government officers begin theirs. Citing industry figures, Roxas says the BPO industry employs around 1.3 million people in the Philippines.
SECURITY OF TENURE
The contracts of some workers in the BPO industry only run for months, depending on the project signed on by the company. As a result, BPO workers told Roxas, you see young professionals hoping from one company to another.
The interior secretary, who was also once trade and industry chief, admitted this was a tricky problem.
Another issue raised was the notoriously slow Internet connection in the Philippines. Roxas, who was once transportation and communications secretary, acknowledged this problem himself. He noted how some Internet service providers are always short of their promised Internet speeds.