BIEN, other groups file SC petition for mass testing

As COVID 19 cases continue to rise in the Philippines, the BPO Industry Employees Network joined other groups of concerned citizens in filing a mandamus petition before the Supreme Court on July 3 “to compel” the country’s executive department particularly the Department of Health, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and other agencies involved in addressing the pandemic “to conduct mass testing, efficient contact tracing and isolation and effective treatment of positive cases.”

Mylene Cabalona, President of BIEN said that “effective and fast conduct of these 3Ts, testing, tracing, treatment, is crucial to keep workers and our community safe from COVID 19.”

Several reports from call center workers where workers tested positive for COVID 19 according to BIEN. In one call center in Bridgetown Pasig, eight workers tested positive for COVID19 while working on site during the period of enhanced community quarantine even as these workers were already staying in a hotel provided by the company.

Continue reading “BIEN, other groups file SC petition for mass testing”

Covid-Free, but not Stress Free: Woes of working from home during the pandemic

by Paulo Apolinar (BIEN-BGC)

The BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) once again goes on aux to bring attention to the current situation of Filipino BPO employees most of whom are on Work From Home (WFH) arrangements due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some may consider this as a relief from the grind and even, due to the current health situation, dangers of commuting to and fro the office, the realities on the ground are far from ideal to say the least.

Quick facts on the recent online survey conducted by BIEN among 146 BPO employees from May 19 to May 26:

  • Half (74 of 146) of all the surveyed employees are working from home.
  • 1 out of 5 (20 percent) of WFH did not receive computers or laptops from their companies
  • 3 out every 4 (77 percent) WFH employees had to shoulder internet costs and majority (54 percent) said that they receive no internet allowance from their companies.
  • 4 of every 5 (82 percent) WFH employees used their own internet connection or paid for their own internet installation.
  • Most of WFH (84 percent) of WFH employees does not receive electricity allowance or subsidy from their companies.
  • 3 of every 5 WFH employees are having trouble meeting their productivity targets due to poor internet connection.
  • 2 in every 5 WFH employees said that they had to meet certain conditionalities in order to receive the internet or electricity allowances such as:
    • Pro-rated internet allowance based on the number of days worked
    • Must reach a minimum hours of work per week (i.e. 40 hours)
  • About 2 in every 5 of WFH employees (38 percent) experienced reduction in their income due to poor internet service.
  • Only 15 percent or (11 of the 74 WFH respondents) said that they receive additional allowances for working at home.
Continue reading “Covid-Free, but not Stress Free: Woes of working from home during the pandemic”

4 in 10 BPO workers are in floating, NWNP status during lockdown

An online survey with 146 respondents conducted by the BPO Industry Employees Network (BIEN) from May 19 to May 26, 2020 revealed that 37.7 percent or roughly 4 out of 10 BPO workers are either in floating or NWNP status. This means temporary job loss for a lot of BPO workers as a result of various factors related to the COVID pandemic.

Half of the respondents said they are working from home, while only 8 percent or a total of 12 respondents said that they are working on site at the time of the survey. Only 4 respondents said they continue to get paid even if they are unable to come to work.

Sixty three percent of the respondents are women. There seems to be a slightly  higher proportion of women who are in NWNP or floating status than men. Two of every three employees in NWNP status are women while 7 out of 10 of those in floating status are also women. Meanwhile, 6 out 10 of those who work from home are also women.

Continue reading “4 in 10 BPO workers are in floating, NWNP status during lockdown”