BPO: A BOON OR A BANE18.10.10
Aired on October 18, 2010
Narration by RG Foncardas
BPO: A Boon or a Bane?
In a country with a serious unemployment problem, any paying job will do. And no other industry at the moment provides thousands of workers than the business process outsourcing or BPO, more popularly known as “call centers.” Close to half a million are already earning in BPO enclaves across the nation. Predictions are upbeat. Executives and managers see their workforce requirements growing by as much as 15 per cent in the coming years, earning P7.8 billion for the Philippines. No wonder, the BPO is dubbed as the “sunrise” industry in an economy at its sunset years. Prior to its exit, the Arroyo administration wanted the industry to overtake India, the number one BPO country in Asia.
We ask, Is the new leadership under President Noy Aquino as eager in this ambition? Studies have shown that the thousands working in call centers today consider their job as a stop-gap measure while awaiting opportunities to follow their intended career paths as teachers, nurses, doctors, writers, lawyers and what have you. The pay maybe good, but the work itself defies normalcy. It turns working hours upside down; the job is mostly often done at night here when it is daytime to clients abroad. Moreover, it encourages young people into a lifestyle of short-term pleasures and goals, and does not lead to a sustained career path. And it seems to have spawned a sub-culture of sexual laxity, to which the Church is still at a loss on how to respond.
Democrat Chuck Schumer, a senator from New York, filed a bill in the US Congress recently that would tax ($0.25) every customer call transferred outside the US. It further required American companies to disclose to their customers where in the world their calls were being routed to. Such a bill, if approved, may spell a sudden decrease, if not the end, of call centers in this country. Is the government ready for such an eventuality?
We ask the newly-minted Aquino government to please draw up a more pro-active, job-creating economic plan for our people. One that respects their training and education. One that insures permanence and growth that is rooted in our context and enhances our considerable resources, both natural and human. A plan that every working Filipino can be proud to take part in, contributing to real nation-building.
“The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” -Proverbs 22:3