Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why does Globe discriminate call center agents?

 *This post also appears on

I am basically a nobody. I am just a relatively newly-hired call center agent with enough salary to keep me going. All I wanted– although I knew it is a luxury to have such– is to have a fancy phone as a pat on my back after working so hard every night, staying over the phone and listening to at least 2 Westerners curse at me. The previous sentences are out of the question but then again, I can’t help but feel disappointed when I started to apply for a postpaid plan. I felt disappointed that I can’t get myself into Globe Telecom’s policies.
Actually, not only am I disappointed. I felt discriminated and insulted.
As a Globe Telecom Prepaid user for years, I have been so satisfied with the services they offer. Even though I was with Sun Cellular for a brief period, I still went back with Globe because for me, nothing beats it. So when I set my goal to have myself enrolled in plan for a smartphone, I chose Globe already without any apprehension.
So there I was few hours ago: It was payday and I have the money for the deposit they required. I spent the past two months earning my keep just to have the money for deposit. Also, I already have all the requirements set up. I went to the store and presented all the documents they needed and lo and behold, I was asked if I have a credit card with me. I asked why and double checked the list of requirements they gave me. Credit card was never a requirement according to that list but when I asked, they said that for BPO employees applying for a postpaid account, a credit card IS a requirement. When I asked why this requirement apply specifically to BPO employees, they are so quick to reply to say it is the company’s policy.
I felt that I was discriminated and being looked down upon right then and there. Why isolate BPO employees? Why is the credit card requirement for BPO not listed on the requirement list? The only reason I can think of behind this policy is that they profiled BPO employees as “bad-payers” and by requiring us with a credit card would mean assurance that they will get paid. Obviously, such equivocation is a quick generalization and a head-to-toe insult to the whole BPO industry.
It was unfortunate that a telecom company who advertises it self with the slogan “Abot mo” (Within your reach) seem to have itself difficult “to be reached” for call center agents. I know they are up for business and want to secure their revenues, but having a special-case system with BPO employees is way out of line. Are they trying to impute that the BPO industry is so volatile that its workers can’t pay their monthly dues? Are they insinuating that call center agents are irresponsible when it comes to paying bills? Worse comes to worst, do they think that BPO call center agents are too poor to afford their plan? I would understand it better if they do this with all of their applicant, but no, call center agents are singled-out of the group. Had they backed this out with a plausible explanation, it would be more understandable but no, we can only hear them saying, “It’s company’s policy. The End. Goodbye”
Yes, the “protecting the business” part is quite understandable, but putting down a discriminating policy is what irks me the most. It is sad that even though one has already complied with the necessary documents, the application is being denied just because he is working in a very volatile industry. They may argue that call center agents may have their jobs unstable because they keep on shopping from one company to the other and not staying in one company for quite some time, but that is out of the question. They may also argue that US is passing anti-outsourcing law and endangers the entire industry as a whole, but that also is out of the question. One thing is obvious though, they don’t want– or at least it seems to be– call center agents as their customer mainly because they are JUST call center agents. Adding “uneducated” and “inexperienced” may be too harsh and exaggerating but that is how their message came to me.
If I were to give them the benefit of the doubt, the only question in my mind is so simple: Why this policy?

Updated 8:00 PM
Attached is page 1 of 4 of the Globe Price Bulletin as of January 20, 2012. As you may notice, credit card is given only as an option but not as a requirement. Also, there is no special note there saying that BPO companies should have a credit card and enroll in an auto-debit system.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Delving into the Specifics of Globe’s Anti-BPO Policy

 *This post also appears in

Last Friday, I wrote about the apparent discriminatory policy of Globe telecom against call center agents and since then, I received messages from people I didn’t expect to contact me. After posting last week’s article, Globe Telecom denied that they have an anti-BPO employee policy and they don’t require for credit card for such applications. Globe Telecom, through its representative, also contacted me and the representative said that he will get back to me the soonest he hears from their internal team.
Five days and a thousand hits later, I still have yet to hear from them and I am totally confused because the representative and the Globe stores tell contradictory statements. So, I did some clarifications by calling their postpaid hotline and tried to inquire about the requirements.
This time, the Sales Specialist I talked with was very specific with the requirements. For BPO applicants, aside from the 3 major requirements, a credit card will be required for BPO employees working less than 2 years in the current BPO company. Also, the credit card requirement is not mandatory for BPO employees with managerial positions. I was also told that the minimum gross monthly income required to apply for a postpaid line is Php 10,000 (No problem with that as BPO employees, generally, earn more than that). Again, I also asked for explanation about this “mandatory policy” but I was denied of hearing one.
These specifics now raise few questions and let me enumerate them. (For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume we have Employee A who has worked for BPO Company X for more than 2 years and Employee B who has worked for the same company for less than 2 years). Why is Employee A not required to present a credit card? Apart from the duration of tenure, what is the difference between Employee A and Employee B and how can Globe Telecom arrive at the conclusion that the former will pay more faithfully than the latter? Also, how can Globe Telecom know that Employee C- let’s assume this employee has a managerial position- can pay more faithfully than Employee A?  With all of these, it is getting more apparent to me that there is a deliberate intention to make the application more difficult for BPO agents. Furthermore, what is more apparent- and this is my paranoid mind talking- is the assumption that call center agents can not and would not pay for their bills should their application be accepted.
A reply from Twitter said that Globe Telecom has the right to choose which person they will enter a contract with. I totally understand such  but then again, they could have phrased this policy in  a non-discriminatory manner. Whether the reason behind this policy is the high attrition rate or the relatively volatile nature of the industry, the sad thing is that they could get away with their discriminatory remarks. Such generalization hurts me because no proper disclosure was made and this policy remains to be told orally and not in writing. It appears that they have the intention to lure BPO agents into applying then drop their discriminatory policy right into our face.
I know that such policy may not be illegal and Globe Telecom has no legal liability in this particular case but they should be more sensitive enough to their consumer’s feelings. Yes, business is business and safeguarding revenue is their primary goal but that doesn’t excuse them to look down upon BPO agents who apparently are working as hard as the rest of the work force. With the BPO Industry’s relatively significant contribution to our economy, Globe Telecom should really study this specific policy. Better yet, they should refrain from making discriminatory and insulting policies at all times.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

To UST: Online Media is the Future

**The following article also appears in

For me, the most important thing the internet gave us is voice, thus, allowing ordinary citizens to express their views and opinions in blogs and in social networking sites. The internet has evolved from a mere connecting tool to a platform of exchange of ideas and opinions. With the wide array of information fleeting from user to user, netizens have also evolved from merely chatmates to a new breed of responsible citizens collecting together of what was known today as new media.

I do not consider myself as a journalist simply because I have no degree in journalism nor have I enrolled myself in such courses. The only journalism background I had was during high school when I Used to write and compete for our school newspaper but then again that is completely amateur. I am a blogger and I am confident and proud to say that I use the internet in order to engage with other users and opine on several relevant issues. Maybe I am underqualified but nonetheless, my voice being heard satisfies myself beyond what I expect. Writing my blog and for Blog Watch, however, I admit that in effect, I might be an online journalist no matter how much I don’t want to label myself as such.

As a “de facto online journalist”, therefore, you cannot blame me if I took offense from the arrogance the University of Santo Tomas displayed in itsstatement defending Chief Justice Renato Corona’s doctorate degree. I take offense simply because the statement itself is bullying and I refused to be bullied.
Though the attack may not be personally directed to me, UST ridiculed online journalism and its potential in developing the current state of Filipino journalism. Questioning the credibility of online journalists is out of the original argument in the first place but they continue by asserting that they are at a loss in considering online journalism having the same weight as mainstream ones. UST tries to act as an authority in journalism and starts to lambast online written commentaries yet forgets to check the quality of their journalism as reflected by their official publication. What is the credibility of an institution that allows its publication to resort to name-calling rather than arguing by pure logic? What is the credibility of an institution wherein faculty members writing for dailies try to impute malice in a supposedly straight-forward news article? This power-tripping definitely tries to discredit and bullies netizens rather than addressing the topic in question.
Online netizens may not be as qualified as the tenured UST faculties but they can provide raw, unbiased facts far from commercially spun ones they present in the mainstream media. Between the mainstream and online journalism, the latter provides a more precise reflection of public opinion. Between the two, the latter moves relatively frictionless and therefore can be easily disseminated. Credibility is not imputed by any authority; it is the reader’s judgment call as how Ms. Noemi Dado see it. Acclaimed Filipino journalist Maria Ressa recognizes the new media’s potential and asserts that both medium can go hand-in-hand in improving the current trends in news reporting and commentary making. What UST did is that they tried to create a rift between the two . As a netizen, I refuse to accept that. If they want to continue their shallow power-tripping, they may want to realize that right now, internet is the trend and continues to expand exponentially. Online media is the future— and UST should learn how to deal with it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Criticizing Both Sides: Am I salawahan?

With all these hoolabaloos on CGMA lately, I have been very active in voicing out my opinion. I have participated and initiated online conversations in FB and Twitter and I have to say that engaging online is a level field for all of us. What made me sad though is the way how I was called "salawahan" by some of our friends and say that my opinion is just a swayed parlance in order for me "to suck to the people who matters".

Let me address this allegation by clarifying my stand on these issues.

First, I am totally against the Secretary of Justice's act defying the Temporary Restraining Order issued by the Supreme Court. I reiterate that this is a desperate move by a panicking government afraid that their opponent is about to run the hell out of the country. It only showsthat the current administration is will to transgress the basic doctrine of Separation of Powers just to cover up their inadequacies.

Having been firm with the above-stated-- and please note that I do not try to play lawyer while opining as such-- I have to make it clear that my stand does not automatically make me pro-Arroyo. In a facebook group, I agree with the comment that Sec De Lima's action is now beyond Arroyo-- which brings me to my next point.

I have also been voicing my concern about Arroyo's lawyer playing doctor in the recent interviews. Claiming that because of the patient-doctor confidentiality, the doctors are forced to keep their mouth shut about the medical abstract of the former President. Due to this, we now see Lambino and Elena Bautista-Horn saying that CGMA is too sick to be in a detention facility but not too sick to be allowed for a house arrest. It is funny how they said those statements in just a span of a week. It made me suspicious about this miraculous turn of Cgma's condition from life-threatening to  ok-enough-to-be-out-of-hospital-arrest within just few days. And I did not fail to also voice out my opinion especially when Lambino, in effect, admitted that what they're saying about Gloria's condition are overheards from the conversation between the ex-President and her doctors.

I understand where the "salawahan" comment comes from especially that it is obvious that I criticized both sides but I was hurt with the allegation that my opinions are only being said because i want to suck up to somebody. I have to make it clear that all of my opinions are my own and however unqualified I am to make such opinion is not anyone's business. It is because I do not pretend to be an expert on any field. As I have understood, my opinions are protected by the Constitution and should be respected. After all, I have never disrespected my attackers' opinion.

One thing I have learned from my dear friend Tita Beth Angsioco is that we should evaluate political figures by issue and not by hasty generalizations. I always keep this in mind and I hope by writing this post, you may understand where I am coming from. Also, I would want to clarify that I blog on my own accord and I am neither paid nor do this to please anybody. I blog because, simply, I can-- and nothing more

Friday, November 18, 2011

SC vs DOJ: This is more than the Arroyo's

With all these PNOY vs GMA and SC vs DOJ thing happening on the news, I have been very active in online discussions. Maybe I owe this blog some content so I am posting my comment  from the Filipino Freethinkers Facebook Page.

posted by Marc Losoa:
SC vs DOJ, who was right? Was SC ruling on TRO justified and that the DOJ blocking Arroyos were illegitimate or was it not? Discuss.

my comment:

Okay here's my two cents here. Let's assume that GMA wants to run away from the country and leave for good.

Had the government done their job in filing the case and bringing it to the court immediately, all these hullabaloos will not be happening. What PNOY and his minions did is that they spend so much time appearing in the television in hopes that the people might perceive them working when actually they did not. What we witnessed the past few days is PANIC. Panic because they were outwitted by the Arroyo's.

Arroyo has the finest in her battery of lawyers, PR people etc. They know what they are doing and they know how to make lusot by using technicalities. On the other hand, we have a government of grandstanders acting out like they are in the Pinoy Big Brother House. We have grandstanders in the House of the Representatives and Ping Lacson in the Senate. Further, the communications group are making things worse!

This is not about Arroyo anymore-- this is about how the government wiling to transgress the power of the Judiciary just to cover up its inadequacies.


As a non-lawyer, I can only say something based on my limited understanding of the Constitution. As I understand it,  when Supreme Court says something, it must have been done as they dictate how a law should be interpreted. What the Secretary of Justice did is an obvious transgression of the principle of Separation of Powers. The Constitution says-- I just don't know what specific provision it is-- that in such cases, the DOJ's hold departure order will be deemed null and void and the SC's TRO will prevail.

With all the testicle-betting and the I'll-have-my-head-chopped-off happening now between the two camps, a Constitutional Crisis might come in (or has it happening right now?). The only question right now is, What kind of government we have?