by Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star ) – June 15, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — More jobs in the business process outsourcing (BPOs) firms are set to open in the coming months for Filipinos in Metro Manila and other areas in the country, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent global recession would likely force Western countries to offshore more jobs in the BPO industry.
“A good size of those jobs will go to the Philippines, particularly Clark, Cebu and Metro Manila,” Bello said, noting that big players are posting thousands of additional seats to fill their manpower requirements.
The labor chief said information technology (IT)-BPO industry leaders reported in a meeting over the weekend that the industry continues to provide employment opportunities amid the pandemic.
Bello called for the meeting following a recent online survey indicating that four out of 10 BPO workers are either in floating or “no-work-no-pay” status during the lockdown.
IT Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) president Rey Untal, however, dismissed the results of the survey and stressed that they continue to hire to fill the demand of the industry.
IBPAP, which counts the biggest players in the country among its more than 300 members, is the enabling association for the industry in the Philippines, which employs over 1.3 million employees.
Untal said his group is taking the initiative to intervene and discuss the issues raised by the workers with the country heads of concerned BPO companies.
The DOLE urged employees still on leave of absence to return to work and help the BPO industry continuously provide services in these difficult times.
DOLE also appealed to employers to protect jobs and avoid retrenching workers.
Reskilling and upskilling workers can help save jobs as businesses continue to struggle to keep afloat amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Sonny Angara said yesterday.
“Unemployment hit a high of 17.7 percent (last) April. That’s over 7.3 million Filipinos who need jobs. During this pandemic, many businesses have to cut costs or start exploring new ways of making money. We cannot operate on a business-as-usual basis anymore,” Angara said.
“This is why we have been pushing for the upskilling of our workforce toward competencies that are required by employers, and a lot of these are digital. These are the two terms that many of us will hear a lot these days,” he added.
The senator emphasized that for many establishments, reskilling would be the quickest and most cost-efficient way to get their employees back to work.
There are jobs that probably will no longer be required and new ones that will open up once the economy is back on track, according to Angara.
For the most part, he said reskilling the workforce would be fairly easy and inexpensive . Paolo Romero