MAYOR Evelio Leonardia met with representatives of 13 business process outsourcing (BPO) companies in Bacolod City in a virtual meeting Monday, August 10, 2020, to assess their compliance with health protocols to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I hope that you are all strict enough to see to it that health protocols are properly followed,” Leonardia told the attending BPO representatives at the virtual meeting.
The meeting is part of the local government unit’s initiatives to fortify its coordination with members of the local private sector in curbing the impact of the Covid-19 health crisis.
Leonardia once again acknowledged the role that the BPO companies play in the local economy. In his previous speeches, the mayor dubbed the BPO industry as the “crown jewel” of Bacolod City.
“Over the years, we know how valuable you are. We know how much you contributed to Bacolod as a whole. You have made a very great impact on our local economy,” said Leonardia.
“But while we used to focus on economics before, what is now primordial is the health and safety of those in the industry. We want you safe over anything else,” he added.
According to the mayor, a team from the local government unit will make random visits to BPO workplaces to make sure they properly follow health protocols and to make assessments on how to improve their working arrangements amid the ongoing health crisis.
This plan, supported by Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran who chairs the local Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), was generally welcomed by the BPO companies. The vice mayor heads Task Force Disiplina.
The meeting was presided over by City Administrator Em Ang. She asked the BPO representatives to share the measures that their respective companies have already taken.
Almost all BPO firms in Bacolod have already adopted 50 percent to 80 percent work-from-home arrangements. These companies are those that have over 1,000 employees.
Meanwhile, a few small companies did not adopt work-from-home arrangements. These companies are those that only have 80 to 90 employees, allowing them to properly observe a one-seat-apart workplace setup.
They reported that they have been conducting regular enhanced onsite disinfection since community quarantines started There are also physicians and nurses assigned on rotation.
The representatives also requested the city government to provide a list of areas under lockdown so that they can properly arrange working setups for their employees living in these areas.
Leonardia and Ang stressed the importance of real-time reporting of suspected Covid-19 patients working in the BPO industry.
“We start with people who are having symptoms of coronavirus. When you have employees showing those symptoms, report them right away [to the City Health Office],” said Ang.
“We have privacy issues but what is paramount is public health,” Ang stressed.
Councilor Cindy Rojas, chairman of the Action Team on Returning Residents, and Dr. Grace Tan of the City Health Office also attended the meeting.
Among the BPOs present were TelePerformance, iQor, Panasiatic, FGC Plus, TeleQuest, TeleTech, TransCom, Path Cutters, Focus Direct, HYBrain, ConCentrix, Ubiquity, and ARB. (PR)