Better Pay and Working Conditions for 1.3M BPO Workers!

[] Cagayan Representative Randolph Ting, and Quezon City Representative Alfred Vargas has expressed their appreciation to the people who have made the local BPO industry a world standard.

But Rep. Alfred Vargas have expressed some concerns on BPO worker pay, workplace safety, and medical benefits. The good congressman is among the principal authors of legislative measures seeking to protect the rights, welfare, and safety of workers in the BPO industry.

House Bill 5728, the brainchild of Rep. Alfred Vargas, provides for the humane treatment of workers and fair guarantees for regularization; the bill also seeks to address a very common habit of some BPO’s, “understaffing”, which almost always triggers burnouts among BPO/call center employees.

HB 5728 also seeks to tackle the issue of security of tenure, and discrimination.

The Attrition Problem

Rep. Vargas noted that the attrition rate experienced by local BPO’s reach nearly 50% per year. (pushAUX: The question really is why do agents job-hop so much? Is it because of low pay, bad working conditions, bad medical benefits? We feel that something else is the cause of the attrition).

During the bill hearing, Nicki Agcaoili, Executive Director of the Information Technology and Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), raised that the BPO industry welcomes bills that protect workers, but he also countered that a balance should be made –maintaining the competitiveness of the Philippines is also important.

Nicki Agcaoili also added that a bulk of Philippine BPO operations serve North American clients, leading to as much as 65-70% of the workforce serving under the mid or night shift. As per the IBPAP rep, entry level pay for local BPO jobs is “significantly higher” than the minimum pay received by other workers.

Nicki Agcaoili, IBPAP


“On the average, mabilis rin ang career progression sa industry. From agent, they can progress to a team leader and then as supervisor manager.”

pushAUX: Essentially, BPO workers are already earning more than other workers, but these other workers don’t work at night, they don’t travel at a dangerous time, and they have less health problems. The higher pay is justified. We feel however that the main issues encountered by BPO workers are understaffing, and a painful lack of retirement benefits. The first can be handled by DOLE, the second needs to be addressed by the industry as a whole.