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Pagcor: Chinese online workers not taking away jobs from Filipino laborers

/ 05:38 PM November 28, 2018

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) denied that foreigners  are taking jobs from Filipino workers in the offshore gaming sector.

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“Lahat ng jobs na pwede ang Pilipino, binbigay sa Pilipino, kaya lang dun sa call centers, walang Pilipino pang mag-qualify because nga of the language requirement, the fluency and the kind of respect or courtesy that they have to practice on the telephone, telephone etiquette, particular to that player,” Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Domingo pointed out that jobs in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo), particularly in call centers, would need workers to have a grip on the clients’ language.

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The majority of the offshore gaming operations tend to cater to Chinese clients.

“Hindi talo eh. Kasi pag sinabi, kahit sa immigration ‘no, pag sinabi na hindi talaga pwedeng umandar ‘yung negosyo kung wala ‘yung foreign workers. Kasi meron siyang distinct qualification na kailangan sa job,” she said when asked if she thinks that Filipino workers are losing jobs in the offshore gaming sector.

“So like we said nga, 75 percent ng mga [foreign] workers ay nasa call center, yun kailangan talaga, alam niya yung salita nila Mandarin, Cantonese, Bahasa, Japanese even Thai. Ngayon, yung mga jobs na kaya ng Pilipino, yung mga IT [information technology] support, Pilipino ‘yung nandun,” Domingo added.

Meanwhile, Pogo committee chair Atty. Jose Tria said that they are looking into creating a program that would teach the language to Filipino workers who would like to work as call center agents in offshore gaming operations.

“Ang concern natin ngayon, ang issue right now is, ang pangangailangan ng operators natin from foreign workers for their ability to speak the language. So kung magu-understudy program tayo, it will all depend on how fast Filipinos can learn the language,” he said.

“So, pinagaaralan namin ngayon yan, how we can go about an understudy program na matututunan nung Pinoy yung language and the culture ng client…hindi siya ganun kadali but we’re looking into…na magkaron ng ganung klaseng program,” he added.

Tria noted that the past understudy program, which comes with the issuance of an alien employment permit (AEP) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to foreign workers, is no longer implemented.

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Figures from Dole show that since 2015, around 116,000 foreigners have been issued an AEP, which allows them to work legally in the Philippines.

An AEP will be issued by Dole only if there is no Filipino willing or competent enough to do the job being offered to a foreigner.

“We have been meeting with them (Dole), baka daw naagaw ng foreign nationals yung trabaho para sa Pilipino. And existing laws sa Philippines, is kapag kumuha ka ng AEP, kailangan may understudy ka talaga. The AEP usually should only last for three years, after which, palitan ka na ng understudy mo. But they (Dole) informed us na wala na pala yung understudy program,” he said.

According to Tria, there is one Filipino to every four foreign workers.

“But when we look at the industry ang bulk lang naman po on foreign employees diyan is on the BPO (business processing outsourcing) side, the call center. But when we look at the IT support systems, the live studios, the platform providers, Filipinos naman po ang employees diyan,” Tria noted. /jpv

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