Call center agents can have more fun in tourism industry
MANILA, Philippines—The new tourism slogan better take off. “It’s more fun in the Philippines” if everyone had a job.
With a bill pending in the United States Congress seeking to stop American firms from outsourcing their operations overseas, the Philippine government is eyeing jobs in the tourism sector for local call center agents who may find themselves in the streets, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said Tuesday.
The tourism industry, however, better take off, especially with the launch of a fresh Department of Tourism effort to entice foreign visitors with the slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines.”
Baldoz said local business process outsourcing workers who may be displaced could be absorbed in the tourism sector since they were fluent in English.
“Just in case this [US bill] is passed into law—which of course we don’t want to happen—one measure would be to retrain and retool our workers,” said Baldoz in a press conference.
“We can quickly train them for work in the service industry like in hotels, restaurants and tourism-related establishments, or in merchandising and trading services,” she said.
“They could be encouraged to start their own businesses so they would become young entrepreneurs themselves.”
Baldoz, however, said it was too early to tell if the bill would pass into law.
Filipinos, she said, “should not worry about the proposed law known as The United States Call Center Workers and Protection Act” since indications were it may not pass into law.
“The signal we are getting is that we should not worry about it … we don’t know if it will pass into law considering past experience,” Baldoz said.
She said similar bills had been filed in the US Congress before but these did not become law due to the opposition of American businessmen.
“With respect to the outsourcing of jobs, the fate of the (previous) bills was that they did not move,” Baldoz said.