The business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is filled with many young workers. Consequently, a youth group strives to make the industry a better place for them.
A big part of the BPO workforce is comprised of the youth sector. In fact, most call center agents who are willing to take graveyard shifts are in their early 20s. They are often fresh college graduates with little work experience. Yet this inexperience makes them the perfect employees for BPO firms as they are often treated as blank slates to be trained and molded to fit the company s standards. And so, young call center agents are the lifeline of the industry. Given the important role they play in the BPO industry, it only goes to follow that the state should protect their well-being as well.
Kabataan Partylist Representative Terry Ridon shares the same views as he filed the House Bill 1180, more commonly known as the BPO Workers Welfare and Protection Act of 2013. The house bill, first filed by Kabataan Partylist Representative Raymond Palatino during the 14th Congress, aims to improve working conditions and the environment in the BPO sector. This includes introducing several benefits for workers such as regularization after six months of training or being in probationary status, incurring medical benefits upon hiring, and standardizing restroom breaks, among others.
The budding Philippine outsourcing industry is expected to bring in $15 billion and employ at least a million workers by 2016. Last year, the industry was worth $13 billion with over 700,000 workers. Despite this growth however, the International Labor Organization (ILO) points out that 48% of BPO workers are insomniacs, while another 54% suffer from fatigue. These grave figures bolstered Ridon s stand that the Philippine BPO industry needs to revamp several of its existing practices.
This industry [BPO] grants apparent and immediate employment opportunities to many of our young people, says Ridon. It is only just that we ensure the rights and welfare of those who have chosen to rely on this sunshine industry .